The development of locomotor planning for end-state comfort

Cowie, Dorothy; Smith, Liam and Braddick, Oliver. 2010. The development of locomotor planning for end-state comfort. Perception, 39(5), pp. 661-670. ISSN 0301-0066 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Walking through real-world environments involves using perceptual information to make complex choices between alternative routes, and this ability must develop through childhood. We examined performance and its development in one such situation. We used a novel ‘river-crossing’ paradigm analogous to manual ‘end-state comfort’ planning tasks, where an uncomfortable manoeuvre at the start of a movement is traded off for comfort at its end. Adults showed locomotor end-state comfort planning, adjusting feet at the start of a route in order to gain comfort at its end (crossing a manageable gap between two stepping stones). 3 – 6-year-olds also made this trade-off, but to a lesser degree than adults. The results suggest that end-state comfort is an important determiner of locomotor behaviour. Furthermore, they show that children as young as 3 years can use detailed visual information to form sophisticated locomotor plans.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology > InfantLab



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Date Deposited:

03 Mar 2011 15:01

Last Modified:

06 Jun 2016 17:22

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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