In order to evaluate neurologic development, postural reflexes were tested in normal kittens from birth through 7 weeks of age until stable adult patterns of performance were attained. These reflex tests included: body and air righting, visual placing, chin placing, tactile placing, hopping, and locomotion. A protocol for scoring responses was designed for each individual reflex to differentiate their progression. The first reflexes to mature were visual placing, chin placing, and body righting which attained a maximal score during the 3rd week of life. This was followed by maturation of the forelimb hopping reflex and independent locomotion during the 4th week. Forelimb tactile placing responses, hind limb hopping reflexes, and air righting developed by the 5th week. Hind limb tactile placing responses were the last to mature. They became fully expressed in the 6th week. The pattern of ontogeny of these reflexes proceeded in a cephalocaudal direction. This is in agreement with earlier observations of others who correlated the maturation of reflex responses in kittens with myelination in the central nervous system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Neuroscience