Section 1, Article 4 - Although all function at birth, babies do not immediately have the ability to use all the sensory input that bombards them. Sensation (the activation of sensory receptors of sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch) occurs, but perception (mental processing of sensory input) develops over time. Cognition follows even later as an infant learns about the world around them and develops the ability to understand, categorize, and respond appropriately to the sensory stimuli they receive.
Like so many other elements of human growth, the development of motor skills is driven partly by nature (genetics) and partly by nurture (environment and caregiver interaction). Mastering these skills tends to follow the same principle we saw earlier: cephalocaudal (head first, working downward) and proximodistal (from near the center of the body, working out to the extremities. The baby first learns to control their head, then their torso, then arms, legs and feet. are those that involve large body movements. (those actions that use small movements) also progress along a typical sequence.
The Dynamic Systems Theory states that perception and motivation combine to create a need within the infant for the development of motor skills. Motor skills are developed as a means of solving a problem. For example, crawling is a motor skill used by children who are motivated to move across a room, but lack the coordination and strength to walk (; ).