Postural Position Constrains Multimodal Object Exploration in Infants

Kasey C. Soska, Karen E. Adolph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent research has revealed the important role of multimodal object exploration in infants' cognitive and social development. Yet, the real-time effects of postural position on infants' object exploration have been largely ignored. In the current study, 5- to 7-month-old infants (N = 29) handled objects while placed in supported sitting, supine, and prone postures, and their spontaneous exploratory behaviors were observed. Infants produced more manual, oral, and visual exploration in sitting compared to lying supine and prone. Moreover, while sitting, infants more often coupled manual exploration with mouthing and visual examination. Infants' opportunities for learning from object exploration are embedded within a real-time postural context that constrains the quantity and quality of exploratory behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-161
Number of pages24
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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