For years now, posturologists and functional neurologists have been speaking of just how early movement literacy actually develops. In creating awareness for this fact, they emphasize that optimal rehabilitation or performance-enhancing programs take into account the movement patterns that are learned early on in life.
One could ask: how early is early?
New research by UCL in collaboration with UCLH suggests that babies potentially “map” their own body in the womb, which can affect how they eventually explore their environment.
Researchers measured brainwaves produced when newborn babies kick their limbs during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, finding that fast brain waves (commonly seen in neonates) fire in the corresponding hemisphere.
When the baby would move its right hand, it would cause brainwaves to be fired immediately in he part of the left-brain hemisphere that processes touch for that hand.
The findings suggest that foetal kicks in the third trimester help grow sensory areas of the brain. This is how a baby develops a sense of its own body. These fast brain waves evoked by the movement disappear by the time babies are a few weeks old.
I believe these findings reinforce the necessity of assessing primitive reflexes in the adults that consult for improved physical, cognitive or emotional performance.