Effect of Infant Hand Observation Training on the Early Development of Hand Reaching and Grasping in Healthy Infants and those with Early Brain Damage (2011–2012)
Observation of motor actions helps in the learning of new skills, thanks to the mirror neuron system that matches observed and performed actions. New evidence suggests that this mechanism is present from birth, but little is known about its role in motor development. This study aims to study whether a novel training based on the observation of parents' hand action can influence the early development of hand reaching and grasping in healthy infants, and improve motor function in infants with brain damage. This work will generate new knowledge on the origins and early role of the mirror neuron system in humans, providing support for novel interventions in infants with brain damage targeting a crucial and under exploited therapeutic window.