Visual Control of Reaching and Grasping in Infants

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The role of visual input during reaching and grasping was evaluated. Groups of infants (5, 7, and 9 months old) and adults reached for an illuminated object that sometimes darkened during the reach. Behavioral and kinematic measures were assessed during transport and grasp. Both infants and adults could complete a reach and grasp to a darkened object. However, vision was used during the reach when the object remained visible. Infants contacted the object more often when it remained visible, though they had longer durations and more movement units. In contrast, adults reached faster and more precisely during transport and grasp when the object remained visible. Thus, continuous sight of the object was not necessary, but when it was available, infants used it for contacting the object whereas adults used it to reach and grasp more efficiently.

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