The effects of 2 weeks of no, general, and task-related enhanced movement experiences on 8- to 12-week-old infants' (N = 30) hand and foot interactions with objects were assessed using standard video and motion analysis. For hand-object interaction ability, general and task experience led to greater success than did no experience, and task experience led to greater success than did general experience. Only general experience led to greater success for foot-object interaction ability. Experiences therefore resulted in differential effects depending on which limbs infants used. The results suggest that different movement experiences can advance infants' earliest object interactions. They also indicate that even early purposeful behaviors result from a complex interplay of experience, current ability, and task demands.
Copyright 2004 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.