Measuring spatial navigation during locomotion in children: A systematic review

It is now online the review article: “Measuring spatial navigation during locomotion in children: A systematic review” by Nuria Martín-Pozuelo, Lidia Carballo Costa, Marina Solís-García, Marco Giancola, Laura Piccardi, Isabel De las Cuevas-Teràn, and Verònica Robles-García, published in Heliyon.

This article aims to describe the role of locomotion during the assessment of spatial navigation in children, providing an overview of the instruments available for assessing spatial navigation in typically developing children and those with neurodevelopmental disorders. A systematic search was performed in six electronic databases between December 2022 and February 2023, then updated in July 2023. Cross-sectional and observational studies were included. Of the 3,385 studies screened, 47 were selected for this review. Five studies described the influence of locomotion on spatial navigation, and seven studies included locomotion as an explanatory variable in this area. Most studies focused on children from five to twelve years old, whereas only nine were centered on infants and preschoolers. Just eight assessed spatial abilities in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. Children with or at risk of neurodevelopmental impairments show poorer spatial navigation skills. Having the choice to explore the space actively is more important than the way they locomote. It is necessary to have tools to assess spatial navigation during locomotion early in infancy.

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