Paige Thompson, a first year PhD student working with Dr. Laura Claxton in the Purdue Motor Development Lab, presented work on bimanual motor interactions during infancy at the International Congress of Infant Studies that took place in Ottawa, Canada in July 2022. The work that was presented examined how infants incorporate role differentiated bimanual manipulation (RDBM) into different postures such as sitting and standing. In RDBM each hand plays a unique role, one hand will stabilize the object while the other manipulates that object. For example, infants may stabilize a toy truck with their left hand and spin the wheels on the truck with their right hand. This behavior requires a high level of coordination between both hands. While this behavior has been observed in structured tasks while the infant is seated, it has not been explored in a free play setting where infants can choose different postures to interact with toys. This work demonstrated that infants do use RDBM in a naturalistic setting, but not as often as in a structured setting. When using RDBM, infants will use the most adaptive postural position to accomplish their goal. When interacting with heavy toys infants sit and when interacting with light toys infants are more likely to stand.
Paige’s poster is available here.