Development and degeneration of the sensory control of reach-to-eat behaviour

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Sacrey, Lori-Ann Rosalind
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Neurosicence, c2012
The reach-to-eat movement, in which a hand is advanced towards a food item, shapes to grasp the food item, and withdrawals to place the food item into the mouth for eating, is a behaviour that is performed daily. The movement is controlled by two sensory systems, vision to guide hand advance and grasping, and somatosensation to guide hand withdrawal and mouth placement. The purpose of the present thesis was to examine how the sensory control of reaching-to-eat develops in infancy and degenerates following neurodegenerative disorder. The tight coupling of vision to hand advance and somatosensation to hand withdrawal has a developmental profile from six months to one year of age. That is, six-month-old infants rely on vision to advance their hand, grasp the target, and withdrawal the target to the mouth. By twelve months of age, infants display the adult pattern of coupling vision to hand advance and grasping. The tight coupling of vision to hand advance degenerates with basal ganglia disease, such that subjects with Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease show an overreliance on vision to guide hand advance for grasping and hand withdrawal for mouth placement. The results of the thesis demonstrate that efficient use of sensory control to guide motor behaviour is an important aspect of development that is disrupted by neurodegenerative disease.
xiv, 286 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm
Motor ability -- Research , Movement, Psychology of , Motion perception (Vision) , Parkinson's disease -- Research , Huntington's chorea -- Research , Dissertations, Academic