Children with cerebral palsy have greater stochastic features present in the variability of their gait kinematics

Brenda L. Davies, Max J. Kurz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Children with CP have a more variable gait pattern. However, it is currently unknown if these variations arise from deterministic variations that are a result of a change in the motor command or stochastic features that are present in the nervous system. The aim of this investigation was to use a Langevin equation methodology to evaluate the deterministic and stochastic features that are present in the variability of the gait kinematics of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Ten children with spastic diplegic CP and nine typically developing (TD) children participated in this investigation. All of the children walked on a treadmill for 2. min while a three-dimensional motion capture system recorded the step kinematics. Our major findings for this investigation were: (1) children with CP had greater variability in their gait patterns than TD children, (2) the variability of the children with CP and TD children had similar deterministic features, (3) the variability had greater stochastic features for the children with CP, and (4) the increase in the amount of variability was strongly correlated with the increase in stochastic features. These results indicate that the variability seen in the gait patterns of children with CP may be due to the inability to suppress the noise that is present in the neuromuscular system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3648-3653
Number of pages6
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number11
StatePublished - Sep 16 2013



  • Langevin equation
  • Noise
  • Nonlinear analysis
  • Variability
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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