Development of anticipatory postural adjustments in a bimanual load-lifting task in children.


  • Schmitz C
  • Martin N
  • Assaiante Christine

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Anticipatory postural adjustments (APA) are needed to perform a movement without perturbing posture. We investigated the development of APA in 3- to 4-year-old children during a bimanual load-lifting task. The task required maintaining a stable elbow position despite imposed or voluntary unloading of the forearm. Although children can compensate the consequences of unloading by using APA, their performance did not reach an adults' level. In addition, children showed high intra-individual variability in the voluntary situation, revealed by the coexistence of both adult-like and immature patterns in kinematic and electromyographic data. In conclusion, the present study reports that APA, associated with a bimanual load-lifting task, are still being set up in 3- to 4-year-old-children. The intra-individual variability should decrease with age and be associated with a progressive mastering of the timing parameters characterizing APA.

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