Independently sitting infants alter sway based on concurrent task demands. Research in our lab has demonstrated that infants reduce sway to better interact with a toy held in their hand (Claxton et al., 2014), and to better focus on a small image viewed on a monitor (Claxton et al., 2013b). Given that these concurrent tasks likely have different attentional demands, this study is investigating whether holding a toy or looking at a toy will result in a greater reduction of sway. Given that infants sit on a variety of surfaces (e.g., floors, sofas) that make it easier or more difficult for them to maintain balance, we are also assessing whether the influence of concurrent tasks on postural sway might differ when given a more challenging postural task. Therefore, we are investigating whether either holding a toy or looking at a toy will lead to a greater reduction in postural sway in an easy postural task (sitting on a solid surface) and difficult postural task (sitting on a foam surface).
PI: Dr. Laura J. Claxton
Students: Amanda Arnold, Joshua Liddy