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  • Writer's picturedrlynnekenney

Why We Teach Crossing the Midline Activities in CogniSuite

Updated: Oct 28, 2023




Crossing the midline refers to the ability to reach across the body's vertical midline with one hand or foot to perform tasks on the opposite side. This skill is essential for various skills such as writing, reading, and math that involve coordination and integration of both sides of the body.


The practice of crossing the midline has been shown to have significant benefits for cognition and motor skills in children. Here are some ways crossing the midline improves motor skills and cognition.


Bilateral Coordination: Crossing the midline helps develop bilateral coordination, which involves using both sides of the body together in a coordinated manner. Research has shown that improved bilateral coordination positively influences motor skills development and performance (Zhu et al., 2019; Rigoli et al., 2020).


Motor Planning: Crossing the midline requires planning and sequencing of movements, which enhances motor planning abilities. A study by Balasubramanian and colleagues (2017) demonstrated that children who engaged in activities involving crossing the midline showed improvements in motor planning skills.


Cognitive Integration: Crossing the midline promotes communication between the brain's left and right hemispheres, facilitating cognitive integration. Studies have shown that enhanced communication between the hemispheres positively impacts cognitive functions such as attention, memory, and problem-solving (Brodal, 2019; Colcombe et al., 2004).


Visual Tracking and Attention: Activities involving crossing the midline require visual tracking skills and attention to follow the movement across the body. Improved visual tracking and attention have been associated with better cognitive performance (Wickens et al., 2016; Lingwood et al., 2017).


Academic Readiness: The development of crossing-the-midline skills has been linked to improved academic readiness in children. A study by Cairney and colleagues (2019) found that crossing the midline abilities were positively associated with early math and literacy skills.


Overall, crossing the midline plays a crucial role in promoting cognitive and motor development in children. Engaging in activities that encourage crossing the midline can have long-lasting positive effects on various aspects of a child's development.


References:


Balasubramanian, R., Graupe, D., & Geller, D. (2017). Children with crossing delays learn to cross their hand midline: Effect of targeted training on untrained hands. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 14(1), 1-9.


Brodal, P. (2019). The central nervous system: Structure and function. Oxford University Press.

Cairney, J., Rigoli, D., & Westfall, D. R. (2019). Crossed and uncrossed tasks provide evidence of motor skill differentiation in children. Child Development, 90(4), 1274-1284.


Colcombe, S., Kramer, A. F., Erickson, K. I., & Scalf, P. (2004). The implications of cortical recruitment and brain morphology for individual differences in inhibitory function in aging humans. Psychology and Aging, 19(3), 363-375.


Lingwood, J., Blades, M., Farran, E. K., Courbois, Y., & Matthews, D. (2017). The development of crossmodal processing in children with autism spectrum disorder: An inverse problem. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(12), 3785-3796.


Rigoli, D., Piek, J. P., Kane, R. T., & Oosterlaan, J. (2020). An intervention targeting motor skills in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 99, 103606.

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