Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Psychobiol. 1999 Jul;35(1):15-24.

Spontaneous motor activity in the perinatal infant before and after birth: stability in individual differences.

Author information

Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36617, USA.


This study was undertaken to determine if a relationship existed between the duration of spontaneous general movements before and after birth. Twenty-two infants were examined three times as fetuses between 38 and 40 weeks gestational age and three times as neonates between 2 and 4 weeks postnatal age. Motor activity level during active sleep periods was quantified by direct sonographic visualization for fetuses and by videotaped images of trunk movement for neonates. We found that both fetuses and neonates exhibited stable individual differences in motor activity level. In addition, infants who moved at a certain rate as fetuses generally moved at the same relative rate as neonates up to 4-weeks postnatal age. Our findings suggested that individual differences in motor activity level in the 1st month following birth probably arise during fetal life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center