A comparison of the reach-to-grasp movement between children and adults: A kinematic study

Stefania Zoia, Eva Pezzetta, Laura Blason, Aldo Scabar, Marco Carrozzi, Maria Bulgheroni, Umberto Castiello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, the reach-to-grasp movement of 5-year-old children was compared to that of adults. Participants were required to reach out and grasp objects, with and without on-line visual feedback. Object size and distance were covaried in a within-subjects design and it was found that for both groups, grip formation and reach kinematics were affected by the manipulation of either variable. Although there are a large number of similarities, a few differences between the two groups emerge. For the reaching component, the children revealed a longer movement duration and deceleration time and a lower maximum height of wrist trajectory than in adults. For the grasp component, the children, in both the vision and no-vision condition, show a maximal finger aperture larger than the adults. Further, the children of this study were able to scale their grip aperture according to object size when visual feedback during the movement was lacking. These findings suggest that children adopt different strategies than adults when planning a reach-to-grasp movement on the basis of object size, distance, and the predictability of visual feedback. The results are discussed in terms of the neural mechanisms underlying hand action and how these mechanisms may not be fully developed by the age of 5.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-738
Number of pages20
JournalDevelopmental Neuropsychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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