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Front. Physiol. | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.01302

Using a dance mat to assess inhibitory control of foot in young children

  • 1University of Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil
  • 2Instituto do Cérebro, Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, Brazil

The development of motor response inhibition is critical during preschool years and has been associated with an improvement in gross motor coordination in this population. However, the assessment of inhibitory abilities in young children is challenging in terms of task selection and subject engagement, especially when investigating foot responses. Thus, the aim of this study was to describe a child-friendly Go/No-Go paradigm to assess inhibitory control of foot based on a dance mat protocol. In this method, Go and No-go stimuli are modeled in the context of a fishing game, and behavioral responses are assessed by recording the latency to touch the mat and the accuracy of the touches. In this protocol article, we 1) describe the stages of the experimental set-up, 2) provide an illustrative data collection example in a sample of children aged 3-4 years, and 3) describe how to process the data generated. The utilization of the dance mat provides a feasible tool for researchers interested in studying the development of motor inhibitory control of foot in preschoolers. Potential applications of this protocol may include studies on developmental differences between hand and foot specialization, sports-related performance and neuroimaging.

Keywords: Inhibitory Control, dance mat, Children, go/no-go, Foot, preschoolers

Received: 29 Nov 2018; Accepted: 27 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Petraconi, Giorjiani, Saad, Scardovelli, Gomes Da Silva and Balardin. 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) and the copyright owner(s) 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.

* Correspondence: PhD. Joana B. Balardin, Instituto do Cérebro, Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, jbbalardin@gmail.com