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6: Motor Development

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    • 6.1: From Reflexes to Voluntary Movements
      Newborns are equipped with a number of reflexes which are involuntary movements in response to stimulation. Some of the more common reflexes, such as the sucking reflex and rooting reflex, are important to feeding. The grasping and stepping reflexes are eventually replaced by more voluntary behaviors. Within the first few months of life these reflexes disappear, while other reflexes, such as the eye-blink, swallowing, sneezing, gagging, and withdrawal reflex stay with us as they continue to serv
    • 6.2: Sensory Capabilities
      Throughout much of history, the newborn was considered a passive, disorganized being who possessed minimal abilities. William James, an early psychologist, had described the newborn’s world as “a blooming, buzzing confusion,” (Shaffer, 1985). However, current research techniques have demonstrated just how developed the newborn is with especially organized sensory and perceptual abilities.
    • 6.3: Motor Skill Development
      Early childhood is the time period when most children acquire the basic skills for locomotion, such as running, jumping, and skipping, and object control skills, such as throwing, catching, and kicking. Children continue to improve their gross motor skills as they run and jump. Fine motor skills are also being refined in activities, such as pouring water into a container, drawing, coloring, and buttoning coats and using scissors.
    • 6.4: Play

    6: Motor Development is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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