Two types of motor asymmetry, postural asymmetry and lateral head turning, were assessed in 3 groups of preterm infants, one of which had experienced respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in the postnatal period. Results reveal that maintenance of a right postural asymmetry is present as early as 34 weeks conceptional age and is not disrupted by postnatal illness. Lateral head turning after midline placement was evident as early as 36 weeks conceptional age but was disrupted by physiologic condition. Infants who had experienced RDS had poor muscle tonus and did not assume the head right position even at 39 weeks conceptional age. These data argue that lateral responding may be affected by illness and that studies of preterm populations must evaluate postnatal medical condition when assessing both the short‐ and long‐term outcomes of lateral asymmetries.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Developmental Biology
- Behavioral Neuroscience