Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Type





Julie Campbell

Mentor Department



Supine Head Orientation Preference (SHOP) is the tendency to turn one's head toward either side of the body, and hold the head in that position for a significant period of time. Actigraphs are wearable devices, which are able to record precise movements of the body. Actigraphs have been used in infant sleep studies to record the frequency of limb movements within a given time period (Atun-Einy, Tonetti, Boreggiani, Natale, & Scher, 2017), however, studies attempting to estimate lateral preference tend to rely on behavioral measures recorded by video. This project investigates the relationship between actigraph recordings of arm movements during wake periods and SHOP from 4 to 16 weeks postnatal. Actigraph data was useful for detecting a difference in the number of lateral movements performed between the left and right arm at 4, 8, and 12 weeks of age. While seated in a semi-reclined seat, actigraph recordings of six infants' arm movements were recorded for 10 minutes at 4, 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age. No interaction occurred during actigraph recordings. For the SHOP procedure, infants were placed inside of a small tent, in order to block overhead distractions. Infants' heads were held at midline for 60 seconds, and then movements were recorded for 60 seconds after, during which infants were allowed to move freely. This procedure was repeated 4 times at each visit (4 and 8 weeks). Researchers coded head movements when the chin passed the nipple line. Z-scores for SHOP and arm movements were determined using the frequency of right and left SHOP and arm movements. The difference score between the left and right arm movement was also calculated. The correlation between SHOP and the difference scores between left and right arm actigraph frequency was not significant. However, Univariate Analysis of Variance results show that there is a significant difference in the number of lateral movements performed between 4, 8, and 12 weeks, such that infants perform significantly more movements at 12 weeks (M = 475.75) than at 4 weeks (M = 365) or 8 weeks (M = 380.8).