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October 1948

TOE REFLEXES IN INFANCY AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF VOLUNTARY CONTROL

Author Affiliations

Director, Rochester Child Health Institute ROCHESTER, MINN.
From the Section on Pediatrics, Mayo Clinic.

Am J Dis Child. 1948;76(4):389-400. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1948.02030030401004
Abstract

AMONG the most interesting reflexes in infancy are those which disappear after a few weeks or months of life: the hand grasp, Babinski, Moro embrace and tonic neck reflexes.

Inasmuch as the hand grasp reflex of the newborn infant disappears by the time the child has attained enough voluntary control to reach out for objects, we became interested in whether the toe grasp reflex disappears when the child attains voluntary control over his feet and legs. If this reflex is comparable to that of the hand grasp, we felt that it should begin to disappear at the time when the child starts to crawl.

PURPOSE  We wished to determine whether the developmental stage was more significant than the chronologic age in the incidence of three reflexes: toe grasp reflex, pressure foot reflex and plantar reflex. Since attainment of voluntary control is related to increase in developmental age, and since voluntary

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