Nina S. Bradley, PhD, PT – DirectorBecause of its potential diagnostic value, fetal movements are observed by ultrasound during routine prenatal care. Thus, the research mission of the Motor Control Development Laboratory is to advance our understanding of prenatal motor behavior and its relationship to neonatal motor behavior. Lending to its ready access during experimentation and extensive use in developmental studies, the chick embryo is a valuable model for advancing our understanding of embryonic behavior and its relationship to clinical progress of the human fetus. Further, there are several apparent similarities in behavior between the human fetus and chick embryo. For example, both initiate limb movements less than a quarter of the way through development. By half way through the prenatal period, human fetuses can suck their thumbs and chicks chew their toes. Both begin to generate breathing movements in the final third-stage of prenatal development, and both as neonates can make alternating stepping movements.
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