Simons Foundation Lectures are free public colloquia related to basic science and mathematics. These high-level talks are intended for professors, students, postdocs and business professionals, but interested people from the metropolitan area are welcome as well.
Basic motor skills such as looking, reaching and walking do not simply appear as the result of maturation. Rather, infants must learn to move. Learning entails discovering new forms of movements to suit the task at hand and using perceptual information to select and modify movements adaptively.
In this lecture, Karen E. Adolph will discuss how infants learn to generate and control their motor actions. Learning to move involves more than merely lifting the limbs against gravity. Adaptive action requires that movements be constructed, selected and modified in accordance with the constraints and opportunities provided by the physical and social environment. The learning process is geared toward flexibility rather than rote performance: Infants are ‘learning to learn’ rather than acquiring fixed solutions.
James C. Galloway will provide post-lecture commentary on how research on typical development can inform motor functioning in autism.
If this lecture is videotaped, it will be posted here after production.