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Journal Article

Dynamical Patterns in the Development of Clapping

Paula Fitzpatrick, R. C. Schmidt and Jeffrey J. Lockman
Child Development
Vol. 67, No. 6 (Dec., 1996), pp. 2691-2708
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1131747
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131747
Page Count: 18

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Topics: Clapping, Oscillators, Child development, Metronomes, Infants, Children, Age groups, Modeling, Wrist, Legs
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Dynamical Patterns in the Development of Clapping
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Abstract

The development of a complex rhythmical behavior-clapping-is modeled using a formal, explicit model of coupled oscillator dynamics. Even though this behavior manifests a good deal of nonstationarity and high variability within and across subjects, results indicate that these properties may be dynamically modeled quantitatively as well as qualitatively. Results suggest that clapping goes through a less stable period of relative coordination between 3 and 7 years before more stable absolute coordination is achieved. Nevertheless, in that the clapping behavior is affected in highly predictable ways by inertial loading of the limbs, the same underlying dynamic seems responsible for the coordination of both the younger and older children. Developmentally, the behavior of the coordination variable (relative phase) changes from a nonconstant magnitude in younger clappers to a constant magnitude in older clappers. These results suggest that development of proficiency in rhythmic motor skills displays developmental changes that can be understood well in dynamical terms.

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