Changes in the Complexity of Limb Movements during the First Year of Life across Different Tasks

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


  • Zuzanna Laudanska
  • David Lopez Perez
  • Alicja Radkowska
  • Karolina Babis
  • Anna Malinowska-Korczak
  • Sebastian Wallot
  • Przemyslaw Tomalski
Infants’ limb movements evolve from disorganized to more selectively coordinated during the first year of life as they learn to navigate and interact with an ever-changing environment more efficiently. However, how these coordination patterns change during the first year of life and across different contexts is unknown. Here, we used wearable motion trackers to study the developmental changes in the complexity of limb movements (arms and legs) at 4, 6, 9 and 12 months of age in two different tasks: rhythmic rattle-shaking and free play. We applied Multidimensional Recurrence Quantification Analysis (MdRQA) to capture the nonlinear changes in infants’ limb complexity. We show that the MdRQA parameters (entropy, recurrence rate and mean line) are task-dependent only at 9 and 12 months of age, with higher values in rattle-shaking than free play. Since rattle-shaking elicits more stable and repetitive limb movements than the free exploration of multiple objects, we interpret our data as reflecting an increase in infants’ motor control that allows for stable body positioning and easier execution of limb movements. Infants’ motor system becomes more stable and flexible with age, allowing for flexible adaptation of behaviors to task demands.
Anzahl der Seiten13
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 15.04.2022

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
Funding: This research and the APC were funded by the Polish National Science Centre grant number 2018/30/E/HS6/00214 to PT. ZL received organizational support from the Graduate School for Social Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, and additional funding from the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange, NAWA, “International Scholarship Exchange of PhD Candidates and Academic Staff,” PROM, project (contract No. PPI/PRO/2019/1/00043/U/00001). PROM is financed by the European Social Fund within Operational Program Knowledge Education Development as a non-competition project and is implemented as part of the Action specified in the application for project funding No. POWR.03.03.00-00-PN13/18. S.W. acknowledges funding from the German Science Foundation (DFG—grant number: 442405852).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.