This paper's editorial review was conducted by John Colombo. We thank all the children and parents who participated in the research. This research was supported in part by National Institutes of Health Awards 5R01HD043842 and 5R01HD067581.
Motor Origins of Tool Use
Article first published online: 25 OCT 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Child Development © 2012 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 84, Issue 3, pages 810–816, May/June 2013
How to Cite
Kahrs, B. A., Jung, W. P. and Lockman, J. J. (2013), Motor Origins of Tool Use. Child Development, 84: 810–816. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12000
- Issue published online: 8 MAY 2013
- Article first published online: 25 OCT 2012
- National Institutes of Health. Grant Numbers: 5R01HD043842, 5R01HD067581
The current study examines the developmental trajectory of banging movements and its implications for tool use development. Twenty (6- to 15-month-old) infants wore reflective markers while banging a handled cube; movements were recorded at 240 Hz. Results indicated that through the second half-year, banging movements undergo developmental changes making them ideally suited for instrumental hammering and pounding. Younger infants were inefficient and variable when banging the object: Their hands followed circuitous paths of great lengths at high velocities. By 1 year, infants showed consistent and efficient straight up-down hand trajectories of smaller magnitude and velocity, allowing for precise aiming and delivering dependable levels of force. The findings suggest that tool use develops gradually from infants' existing manual behaviors.