Posture as a determinant of visual behavior in newborns

Child Dev. 1975 Jun;46(2):579-82.


The effects of posture on the visual behavior of 15 3-day-old healthy black newborn males and females were assessed. The amount of time each infant kept his eyes open and the quality of fixation and following a visual stimulus were measured in each of 3 positions: lying down, sitting up, and on shoulder. Although position had little effect on the amount of time the eyes were open, the on-shoulder position significantly increased the quality of the visual behavior. These findings suggest that the vestibular, proprioceptive, and contact stimulation provided by the on-shoulder position affects the newborn's ability to follow and process visual stimuli.

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Male
  • Posture*
  • Pregnancy
  • Vision, Ocular*