This study examined the crawling characteristics of newborns placed prone on a water-filled, transparent pediatric mattress and whether exposure to terrestrial optic flows that specify forward and backward displacement would influence leg and arm crawling movements. Twenty-six 3-day-old newborns were exposed to a static checkerboard pattern that was back-projected onto the surface underneath the mattress or a checkerboard pattern that moved toward or away from them at 0.12 m/s. Significantly more flexion and extension crawling movements of the legs were observed in the optic flow conditions, although infants did not displace their bodies significantly further on the mattress in these conditions. Unique aspects of newborn crawling were also identified.
Keywords: locomotion; neonatal; vision.
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