Motor asymmetries in preterm infants: Effects of prematurity and illness

Nathan Fox, Michael Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-23
Number of pages5
JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1982
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Motor asymmetries in preterm infants: Effects of prematurity and illness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this