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Recognition of biological motion is pervasive in early child development. Further, viewing the movement behavior of others is a primary component of a child’s acquisition of complex, robust movement repertoires, through imitation and real-time coordinated action. We theorize that inherent to biological movements are particular qualities of mathematical chaos and complexity. We further posit that this character affords the rich and complex inter-dynamics throughout early motor development. Specifically, we explored whether children’s preference for biological motion may be related to an affinity for mathematical chaos. Cross recurrence quantification analysis (cRQA) was used to investigate the coordination of gaze and posture with various temporal structures (periodic, chaotic, and aperiodic) of the motion of an oscillating visual stimulus. Children appear to competently perceive and respond to chaotic motion, both in rate (cRQA-percent determinism) and duration (cRQA-maxline) of coordination. We interpret this to indicate that children not only recognize chaotic motion structures, but also have a preference for coordination with them. Further, stratification of our sample (by age) uncovers the suggestion that this preference may become refined with age.


Copyright © 2015 Haworth, Kyvelidou, Fisher and Stergiou. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Journal Title

Frontiers in Psychology



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Biomechanics Commons



Funded by the University of Nebraska at Omaha Open Access Fund