Five- to 12 year-olds’ control of movement velocity in a dynamic collision avoidance task

A.F. te Velde, J. van der Kamp, G.J.P. Savelsbergh

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    We investigated age-related differences in a dynamic collision avoidance task that bears a resemblance to pedestrian road crossing. Five- to seven-year-old children, ten- to twelve-year-old children and adults were instructed to push a doll across a small-scale road between two toy vehicles, which approached one after the other. We analysed the number of attempted crossings, the number of collisions, movement onset times and movement velocity control. The youngest children attempted to cross less often, but collided more frequently than the adults. This age effect could be attributed to differences in the way the children and adults controlled movement velocity. The youngest children attained the velocity that was required for safe travel too late, particularly when the gaps between the toy vehicles were small. The age differences in movement onset strategies were less clear-cut. The findings are discussed within a framework that proposes distinct roles of vision in action planning and action production. © 2008 The British Psychological Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)33-50
    JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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