Random movements of young children are not so random.

(ORDO NEWS) — The development of the child occurs in many ways, sometimes incomprehensible to the parent. Here’s what Japanese scientists found out about the random behavior of the baby.

The researchers combined detailed motion capture of newborns and a computer model of the musculoskeletal system to analyze the interplay between muscles and sensations throughout the body.

It turned out that the patterns of the child’s muscular interaction with the outside world develop on the basis of random exploratory behavior.

That is, through relatively random movements at one moment, the child will later be able to perform sequential movements.

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Child development

Even in the womb, children begin their “journey” – they move in all directions, do different actions that often seem meaningless and strange.

They are called “spontaneous movements” and scientists believe they play an important role in muscle control and coordination.

A better understanding of the development of the sensorimotor system will help to understand the “origin” of human movements: this, in addition, will improve the early diagnosis of developmental disorders in the child.

“Previous research on sensorimotor development has focused on kinematic properties, the muscle activity that causes movement in a joint or body part,” says project member Professor Hoshinori Kanazawa from the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Japan.

“However, our work is focused on muscle activity and sensory inputs for the whole body.

By combining a musculoskeletal model and a neurobiological approach, we found that spontaneous movements that appear to have no apparent purpose or purpose promote coordinated sensorimotor development.”

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Physical development of children

“We were surprised: during spontaneous activity, the movements of the infants “wandered” and they followed various sensorimotor interactions. We called this phenomenon “sensory-motor wandering, ” Kanazawa explained.

“It is generally accepted that the development of the sensorimotor system usually depends on repetition, which means that the more you perform the same action, the more likely you are to learn and remember it.

But our results show that babies develop their own sensorimotor system based on exploratory behavior or curiosity.”

The results of the study support the theory that newborns and infants can acquire sensorimotor modules, i.e., synchronized muscle activity, through spontaneous movements of the whole body without an explicit goal or goal.

Even with sensorimotor wandering, the children showed an increase in coordinated whole-body movements that anticipated new activity.

Now the scientists want to see how “sensory-motor wandering” affects later development, such as walking and higher cognitive function.


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