The way an object is grasped can be used to infer how the action was planned. Object properties (e.g., size) are considered in first-order planning; whereas second-order planning is characterized by the anticipation of secondary task demands (e.g., object use). Often referred to as the end-state comfort (ESC) effect, adults generally act to ensure a comfortable final posture. A reduced tendency for children to demonstrate ESC has been attributed to immature second-order planning abilities; however, inconsistent reports in the literature limit understanding. Why children display ESC in some studies, but not others, has yet to be resolved. One suggestion is that children perceive comfort differently than adults. Using observational and kinematic measures, this research considers the dynamic interaction (i.e., the Dynamic Systems Perspective) between actor (i.e., physical and psychological characteristics), environment (i.e., external forces surrounding the actor), and task (i.e., goals and rules of the task and equipment used) in the development of second-order object manipulation. This research aims to decipher how second-order planning behaviours change over the course of neurotypical development from childhood to young adulthood.
This work will offer fundamental insights; inconsistent reports will be disentangled, and knowledge of the neurotypical development of reach-to-grasp for object manipulation will be created. Findings will also have practical implications (e.g., assessment and intervention for children with motor difficulties).