Toy-Based Technologies for Children with Disabilities Simultaneously Supporting Self-Directed Mobility, Participation, and Function: A Tech Report
Two studies investigated the role of locomotor experience on visual proprioception in 8-month-old infants. Visual proprioception refers to the sense of self-motion induced in a static person by patterns of optic flow. A moving room apparatus permitted displacement of an entire enclosure (except for the floor) or the side walls and ceiling. In Study 1, creeping infants and prelocomotor/walker infants showed significantly greater postural compensation and emotional responses to side wall movement than did same-age prelocomotor infants. Study 2 used true random assignment of prelocomotor infants to locomotor-training (via a powered-mobility device) and no-training conditions. Experimental infants showed powerful effects of locomotor training. These results imply that locomotor experience is playing a causal role in the ontogeny of visual proprioception.