Postural Sway of Human Infants while Standing in Light and Dark

Daniel H. Ashmead, Michael E. McCarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Postural sway was measured in 12–14‐month‐old human infants and in adults while they were standing in the light and dark. Spectral density analyses conducted on all frequencies, at specific frequencies, and for individual subjects showed that infants generally did not sway significantly more in the dark than in the light, whereas adults did. For example, infants' dark/light sway proportions were 1.12 and 1.21 for the anterior‐posterior and lateral dimensions, respectively, compared to adult values of 2.23 and 3.43 for one‐footed stance, and 1.43 and 2.13 for two‐footed stance. A statistical power analysis indicated that if the dark/light proportions for infants had been comparable to those for adults, significant differences could have been detected. These findings indicate that the early regulation of standing posture does not depend on the continuous availability of visual information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1276-1287
Number of pages12
JournalChild development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1991


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