Body scale and infant grip configurations

K. M. Newell, P. V. McDonald, Renee Baillargeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study examined whether hand/object size ratios define common boundaries to the grip configuration patterns of infants and adults. A group of 5‐ to 8‐month‐old infants and a group of adults engaged in a displacement grasping task with inverted cups that varied in size. The findings showed that infant and adult grip configurations varied systematically with object size: More digits were brought into the contact grip configurations with increasing object size. Furthermore, when object size was scaled to hand size, common dimensionless ratios defined the grasping patterns and transitions between grasping patterns in a similar manner for both adults and infants. Consistent with a dynamical view of the development of coordination, the strong role of body scale on the developmental prehensile coordination pattern was observed for a given set of task constraints. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-205
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental psychobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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