Research Projects

Exploratory Study on Infants' Postural Development in Prone

Funded by:  Steinhardt Faculty IDEAs grant

Year Funded: 2012

Tsu-Hsin Howe, PhD, OTR Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, New York University

Elaine Becker, MA, DPT, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, New York University

Gregory M. Gutierrez, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, New York University

Project Abstract

Understanding postural control development will assist clinicians to early identify those infants at greater risk for developmental delay and will provide insight into when and how therapeutic interventions should be introduced.  This project aims to study infants’ postural control development in prone position over a period of 5 months through technology. Specifically, it assesses infants’ weight bearing and weight shifting patterns in prone while preforming developmental tasks. Weight bearing and weight shifting patterns are presented by the displacement of center of pressure (COP) measuring by force plates. The information gathered will assist in development of new parameters for assessing typical development in prone and prone progressions. Results from this investigation can be used to identify factors that influence the rate of development (time spent in prone, connections to the support surface) and may determine the extent of motor delays and deviations in atypical populations such as torticollis, Erb’s palsy, developmental delay and cerebral palsy. These findings have the potential to reveal innovative therapeutic interventions and assess their effectiveness.