Deutsch: Palmer-Griff / Español: Reflejo de prensión palmar / Português: Pega palmar / Français: Préhension palmaire / Italiano: Presa di Palmer

Palmer Grasp refers to a reflexive grasp pattern observed in infants, where an object placed in the palm of their hand causes them to automatically close their fingers and grasp it. This reflex is named after the palm of the hand, where the action takes place. It is one of the primitive reflexes present at birth and plays a crucial role in the developmental process of an infant's motor skills. The Palmer Grasp Reflex typically appears around the 16th week of gestation and usually diminishes by the age of 5 to 6 months as it gradually integrates into more voluntary and sophisticated motor behaviors.


The Palmer Grasp Reflex is a key indicator of neurological development and is assessed as part of routine pediatric examinations. It is important because it demonstrates the infant's instinctual response to tactile stimuli and is a precursor to voluntary grasping. The reflex is not only a sign of normal muscle and nerve development but also lays the groundwork for the complex coordination of hand and finger movements necessary for tasks such as writing, dressing, and feeding.

Application Areas

The Palmer Grasp Reflex has significant implications in several areas within psychology and child development:

  • Neurological Assessment: It is used by pediatricians and neurologists to assess the neurological health and development of infants.
  • Occupational Therapy: Occupational therapists may work with children who have developmental delays or neurological disorders, using the presence or absence of this reflex as a part of their assessment and intervention planning.
  • Developmental Psychology: Researchers in developmental psychology study the Palmer Grasp among other reflexes to understand how motor skills and cognitive abilities develop in infants.

Well-Known Examples

An everyday example of the Palmer Grasp can be observed when placing a finger in the palm of a newborn's hand. The infant will automatically grip the finger tightly. This reflex is not only a demonstration of the Palmer Grasp but also serves as a bonding moment between the infant and caregiver.

Treatment and Risks

The Palmer Grasp Reflex itself does not require treatment as it is a normal part of infant development. However, if the reflex is absent or persists beyond the typical age range, it may indicate neurological problems or developmental delays. In such cases, further evaluation by a healthcare professional is recommended to identify any underlying issues and to determine appropriate interventions.

Similar Terms or Synonyms

  • Palmar Grasp Reflex


The Palmer Grasp is a primitive reflex found in infants that involves an automatic grasping of objects placed in the palm. It is crucial for the development of voluntary motor skills and is used as an indicator of normal neurological development. The reflex typically fades as the infant develops more controlled and deliberate hand movements, marking an important milestone in the infant's motor and cognitive development.


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