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June 1941


Author Affiliations

From the Normal Child Development Study of the Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Babies Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1941;61(6):1215-1221. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1941.02000120087005

Since the appearance of the original article by Babinski,1 in which the association of lesions of the pyramidal tract with hyperextension and abduction of the great toe was pointed out, the plantar response of infants has been the subject of extensive investigation and speculation. This interest was created by the observation that digital extension on plantar stimulation is common among newborn infants. No less than seventy articles in eight different languages have been published on the subject as it relates to infants specifically, and countless volumes have appeared on the pathognomonic aspects of the Babinski sign in adults—not to mention significant work with animals, particularly the primates. These studies have covered a great many details. The incidence of dorsiflexion and of plantar flexion of all the toes and of the great toe has been painstakingly calculated by a number of investigators. The extent and variability of the response

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