Specificity of Practice Effects on Elementary Neuromotor Patterns

Nancy A. Zelazo, Philip R. Zelazo, Kenneth M. Cohen, Philip D Zelazo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The specificity of the effects of practice on 2 elementary neuromotor patterns, stepping and sitting, was investigated. Thirty-two 6-week-old male infants were assigned to 1 of 5 groups: Three experimental groups received 2, 3-min daily sessions of exercise of stepping, sitting, or both (3 min each), whereas 2 control groups received no exercise. After 7 weeks, infants who received elicitation of the stepping pattern, alone or in combination with sitting exercises, stepped more than infants who received no exercise or sitting exercises only. Infants who received sitting exercises alone or in addition to stepping exercises sat upright longer than infants who received no exercise or stepping exercises only. These experimental data for 2 neuromotor patterns indicate that the short-term effects of practice are specific to the patterns trained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-691
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1993
Externally publishedYes


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