Implications of Cognitive and Motor Interactions for Intervention

presented by Stacey Dusing

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A large body of evidence suggests a tight coupling between motor and cognitive development. Yet physical therapy education often focuses only on motor development. This course will demonstrate the relationship between motor and cognitive skills in the first year of life and will introduce intervention strategies that can be used with infants and young children to enhance the integrated development of motor and cognitive skills. The application of theory to clinical examples will enhance learners’ ability to support motor and cognitive development.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Stacey Dusing, PT, PhD, PCS

    Dr. Dusing is a board certified pediatric physical therapy specialist with over 15 years of clinical and research experience with infants and children. Dr. Dusing is currently associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at Virginia Commonwealth University where she directs the Motor Development Laboratory. Her research focuses on postural control, reaching development and interventions to advance development in infants with or at high risk of having developmental disabilities including interventions in the Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) and the first year of life. Dr. Dusing is also a core faculty member in the Virginia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (Va-LEND) program and an Affiliate Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Pediatrics. She provides clinical physical therapy services in the NICU and Neonatal Continuing Care Program at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Dr. Dusing received her BS in Physical Therapy from Daemen College in Buffalo NY. She earned her MS and PhD in Human Movement Science at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed an NIH career development award at the University of Delaware. She has had research funding from NIH, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, The US Department of Education, AD Williams Foundation, APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy and the Foundation for Physical Therapy.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Perception Action Theory and the Role of Experience in Learning

    1. Perception Action Theory and the Role of Experience in Learning

    This chapter will introduce the learner to the perception action theory. Experience interacting with the environment, caregivers, and peers during development and their influence on perception and action will be highlighted.

  2. The Coupling of Motor and Cognitive Development

    2. The Coupling of Motor and Cognitive Development

    This chapter will highlight some of the evidence for the coupling of cognitive and motor skills in the first years of life.

  3. Measuring Cognitive Development During Motor Play

    3. Measuring Cognitive Development During Motor Play

    This chapter will introduce some concepts for physical therapists to consider in the measurement of cognition and motor skills.

  4. Intervention Strategies to Support Motor and Cognitive Development

    4. Intervention Strategies to Support Motor and Cognitive Development

    This chapter will provide evidence for interventions provided by physical therapists that advance both motor and cognitive skills.