Postural and object-oriented experiences advance early reaching, object exploration, and means-end behavior

Child Dev. 2008 Nov-Dec;79(6):1869-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01231.x.


The effects of 3 weeks of social (control), postural, or object-oriented experiences on 9- to 21-week-old infants' (N = 42) reaching, exploration, and means-end behaviors were assessed. Coders recorded object contacts, mouthing, fingering, attention, and affect from video. Postural and object-oriented experiences advanced reaching, haptic exploration of objects, and developing means-end behavior compared to social experience. Object-oriented experience best-advanced means-end behavior. The results suggest that the development of novel behaviors is dependent on multiple subsystems and can be similarly advanced by addressing a variety of these subsystems. They also suggest that past experiences with active object exploration can facilitate early information processing and the development of early knowledge.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child Development*
  • Exploratory Behavior*
  • Female
  • Hand Strength*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Behavior*
  • Male
  • Mental Processes*
  • Posture*
  • Time Factors