Psychology Department Menu
Dr. Joshua Williams
- Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, University of Tennessee
- M.A. in Experimental Psychology, University of Tennessee
- B.A. in Health & Kinesiology, Purdue University
- Motor Development
- Perceptual Development
- Impact of Early Sensory-Motor Experience
- Development of Hand Preference
- Parent-Infant Interactions
My specific area of research deals with how human infants learn perceptual-motor behaviors such as reaching, crawling, and walking. In more detail, my key area of interest lies in how young infants take advantage of early sensory-motor experiences in order to begin performing these adaptive behaviors. Studies are designed in such a way as to examine the processes of change as infants are provided with opportunities to gain unique sensory-motor experiences.
Another area of investigation is aimed at addressing the impact that early sensory-motor experiences have upon the development of hand preference. For instance, how do unique sensory-motor experiences modify the developmental trajectory of hand preference? How do ongoing perceptual-motor behaviors, such as crawling and walking, impact hand preference?
Finally, studies are being designed to investigate how infants utilize environmental information in order to adapt their perceptual-motor behaviors to meet specific task demands. For instance, how do infants use visual information to plan their reaching movements? How do infants modify their reaching movements when presented with an obstacle that blocks their preferred reaching hand?
Williams, J. L., Corbetta, D., Piercy, H., Mahabeer, S., & Cole, M. (2011, June). The emergence of intentional reaching in response to repeated, multimodal sensory-motor experience. Poster presented at the meeting for the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, Burlington, Vermont.
Williams, J. L., Corbetta, D., & Craddock, G. (2010, June). Six- to 8-month-old infants’ reaching flexibility in response to contextual demands. Poster presented at the meeting for the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, Tucson, Arizona.
Williams, J. L., & Corbetta, D. (2010, March). Examining the true impact of simulated grasping experience upon the mergence of reaching. Poster presented at the meeting of the International Conference on Infant Studies, Baltimore, Maryland.
Williams, J. L., & Corbetta, D. (2009, June). The effects of task exposure and simulated grasping experience upon the emergence of intentional reaching. Verbal presentation delivered at the meeting of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, Austin, Texas.
Corbetta, D., Williams, J. L., & Snapp-Childs, W. (2007, March). Object scanning and its impact on reaching in 6- to 10-month-old infants. Verbal presentation delivered at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Boston, Massachusetts.
Williams, J. L., Corbetta, D., & Snapp-Childs, W. (2005, October). The effects of talking upon looking and reaching movements. Verbal presentation delivered at the meeting for the French Society for Sport and Movement Sciences, Paris, France.
Corbetta, D., Williams, J.W., & Snapp-Childs, W. (2006). Plasticity in the development of handedness: Evidence from normal development and early asymmetric brain injury. Developmental Psychobiology, 48, 460-471.
Williams, J.L., Guan, Y., Corbetta, D., & Valero Garcio, A.V. (2010). "Tracking" the relationship between vision and reaching in 9-month-old infants. In O. Vasconcelos, M. Botelho, R. Corredeira, J. Barreiros, & P. Rodrigues (Eds.), Estudos em Desenvolvimento Motor da Crianca III [Studies in motor development in children III] (pp. 15-26). University of Porto Press.