What do we know about the atypical development of exploratory actions during infancy?

Res Dev Disabil. 2012 Nov-Dec;33(6):2228-35. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2012.06.016. Epub 2012 Jul 21.


Recent theoretical approaches to infant development have highlighted the importance of exploratory actions to motor, perceptual and cognitive development in infancy. However, the performance of infants exposed to risk factors when exploring objects has been frequently overlooked as a variable of interest. The aim of this study was to review scientific publications investigating the role of developmental risk factors on the development of exploratory actions over objects. Electronic databases (Medline and Science Direct) were searched for papers by using for the following key-words in combination: "exploration", "exploratory", "infants". Eighteen papers were included in the review. The performance of infants exposed to various risk conditions such as prematurity, blindness, Down syndrome, autism and low socioeconomic level have been addressed in the literature. Each risk condition has influenced infants' behaviors in particular ways. Considerations for further research were made based on issues raised by the review that still need to be further understood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology
  • Blindness / diagnosis
  • Blindness / psychology
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnosis*
  • Developmental Disabilities / psychology*
  • Down Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Down Syndrome / psychology
  • Exploratory Behavior*
  • Form Perception
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / diagnosis
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / psychology
  • Intelligence
  • Motor Skills
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Risk Factors