Psychophysical Assessment of Toddlers' Ability to Cope With Slopes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This research examined how infants in early stages of walking determine whether a hill is safe or risky for locomotion. A psychophysical staircase procedure provided estimates of infants' physical ability to walk up and down slopes (2° to 36°), and a "go ratio" indexed the accuracy of their perceptual judgments. On average, perceptual judgments were scaled to walking ability on slopes. Children walked on safe slopes and balked on risky ones. For ascent, perceptual judgments were related to length of walking experience and walking skill on flat ground. Better walkers were also better perceivers. For descent, judgments neatly mirrored exploratory activity. Better perceivers explored hills more efficiently by hesitating, touching, and testing different positions on hills around the limits of their physical ability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)734-750
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Volume21
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1995

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Aptitude
Walking
Walkers
Locomotion
Toddlers
Psychophysical
Research
Physical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

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