Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

David D. Chapman


Spina bifida (SB) is the most common neural tube defect in the United States. These babies move their legs less often and demonstrate motor milestones significantly later in life than their typically developing (TD) peers. Research has shown TD infants move their legs more or less often depending on the quality and quantity of sensory information they have available to them. Significant milestones such as crawling and walking rely on intra-limb coupling, which occurs when one limb adapts to contextual environmental factors depending on the position of the other limb. Current motor development processes are rooted in theoretical concepts from the Dynamic Systems Theory and the Theory of Neuronal Group Selection. The purpose of this study was to determine if infants with lumbar or sacral SB would move their legs more or less often when confronted with changes in sensory information while seated in an infant seat designed to facilitate movement.