Análise comparativa do alcance manual em lactentes jovens pré-termo e a termo.
Toledo, Aline Martins de
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This longitudinal study investigated the development of reaching behavior in the seated position in preterm infants at the ages of 5, 6 and 7 months by analyzing kinematic variables (straightness and adjustment indexes, movement unit, mean and final velocities). The correlation between kinematic variables and grasping was verified. The participants were nine low-risk preterm infants with no cerebral lesions. Ten fullterm infants served as control. In both groups, kinematic variables remained unchanged over age, except for the adjustment index, which was higher at 6 months in the preterm group. Successful grasping increased in both groups over age and it was shown to be negatively correlated with mean velocity in the preterm infants. At the ages of 6 and 7 months, preterms showed lower mean and final velocities and higher adjustment index when compared with fullterms. The relative constancy in the kinematic variables suggests that, after having explored the action possibilities during the acquisition phase, the infants selected an adaptative pattern to perform the reaching movements. Slower movements and greater adjustments may be functional strategies of preterms to achieve successful grasps.