Locomotor patterns change over time during walking on an uneven surface

Jenny A. Kent, Joel H. Sommerfeld, Mukul Mukherjee, Kota Z. Takahashi, Nicholas Stergiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

During walking, uneven surfaces impose new demands for controlling balance and forward progression at each step. It is unknown to what extent walking may be refined given an amount of stride-to-stride unpredictability at the distal level. Here, we explored the effects of an uneven terrain surface on whole-body locomotor dynamics immediately following exposure and after a familiarization period. Eleven young, unimpaired adults walked for 12 min on flat and uneven terrain treadmills. The whole-body center of mass excursion range (COMexc) and peak velocity (COMvel), step length and width were estimated. On first exposure to uneven terrain, we saw significant increases in medial–lateral COMexc and lateral COMvel, and in the variability of COMexc, COMvel and foot placement in both anterior–posterior and medial–lateral directions. Increases in step width and decreases in step length supported the immediate adoption of a cautious, restrictive solution on uneven terrain. After familiarization, step length increased and the variability of anterior–posterior COMvel and step length reduced, while step width and lateral COMvel reduced, alluding to a refinement of movement and a reduction of conservative strategies over time. However, the variability of medial–lateral COMexc and lateral COMvel increased, consistent with the release of previously constrained degrees of freedom. Despite this increase in variability, a strong relationship between step width and medial–lateral center of mass movement was maintained. Our results indicate that movement strategies of unimpaired adults when walking on uneven terrain can evolve over time with longer exposure to the surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberjeb202093
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume222
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

walking
Walking
Foot
Young Adult
mass movement
exercise equipment
young adults
exposure

Keywords

  • Biomechanics
  • Gait
  • Motor learning
  • Uneven terrain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science

Cite this

Locomotor patterns change over time during walking on an uneven surface. / Kent, Jenny A.; Sommerfeld, Joel H.; Mukherjee, Mukul; Takahashi, Kota Z.; Stergiou, Nicholas.

In: Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 222, No. 14, jeb202093, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{3d66e3b64e32471f8b1a11c92d902b73,
title = "Locomotor patterns change over time during walking on an uneven surface",
abstract = "During walking, uneven surfaces impose new demands for controlling balance and forward progression at each step. It is unknown to what extent walking may be refined given an amount of stride-to-stride unpredictability at the distal level. Here, we explored the effects of an uneven terrain surface on whole-body locomotor dynamics immediately following exposure and after a familiarization period. Eleven young, unimpaired adults walked for 12 min on flat and uneven terrain treadmills. The whole-body center of mass excursion range (COMexc) and peak velocity (COMvel), step length and width were estimated. On first exposure to uneven terrain, we saw significant increases in medial–lateral COMexc and lateral COMvel, and in the variability of COMexc, COMvel and foot placement in both anterior–posterior and medial–lateral directions. Increases in step width and decreases in step length supported the immediate adoption of a cautious, restrictive solution on uneven terrain. After familiarization, step length increased and the variability of anterior–posterior COMvel and step length reduced, while step width and lateral COMvel reduced, alluding to a refinement of movement and a reduction of conservative strategies over time. However, the variability of medial–lateral COMexc and lateral COMvel increased, consistent with the release of previously constrained degrees of freedom. Despite this increase in variability, a strong relationship between step width and medial–lateral center of mass movement was maintained. Our results indicate that movement strategies of unimpaired adults when walking on uneven terrain can evolve over time with longer exposure to the surface.",
keywords = "Biomechanics, Gait, Motor learning, Uneven terrain",
author = "Kent, {Jenny A.} and Sommerfeld, {Joel H.} and Mukul Mukherjee and Takahashi, {Kota Z.} and Nicholas Stergiou",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1242/jeb.202093",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "222",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Biology",
issn = "0022-0949",
publisher = "Company of Biologists Ltd",
number = "14",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Locomotor patterns change over time during walking on an uneven surface

AU - Kent, Jenny A.

AU - Sommerfeld, Joel H.

AU - Mukherjee, Mukul

AU - Takahashi, Kota Z.

AU - Stergiou, Nicholas

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - During walking, uneven surfaces impose new demands for controlling balance and forward progression at each step. It is unknown to what extent walking may be refined given an amount of stride-to-stride unpredictability at the distal level. Here, we explored the effects of an uneven terrain surface on whole-body locomotor dynamics immediately following exposure and after a familiarization period. Eleven young, unimpaired adults walked for 12 min on flat and uneven terrain treadmills. The whole-body center of mass excursion range (COMexc) and peak velocity (COMvel), step length and width were estimated. On first exposure to uneven terrain, we saw significant increases in medial–lateral COMexc and lateral COMvel, and in the variability of COMexc, COMvel and foot placement in both anterior–posterior and medial–lateral directions. Increases in step width and decreases in step length supported the immediate adoption of a cautious, restrictive solution on uneven terrain. After familiarization, step length increased and the variability of anterior–posterior COMvel and step length reduced, while step width and lateral COMvel reduced, alluding to a refinement of movement and a reduction of conservative strategies over time. However, the variability of medial–lateral COMexc and lateral COMvel increased, consistent with the release of previously constrained degrees of freedom. Despite this increase in variability, a strong relationship between step width and medial–lateral center of mass movement was maintained. Our results indicate that movement strategies of unimpaired adults when walking on uneven terrain can evolve over time with longer exposure to the surface.

AB - During walking, uneven surfaces impose new demands for controlling balance and forward progression at each step. It is unknown to what extent walking may be refined given an amount of stride-to-stride unpredictability at the distal level. Here, we explored the effects of an uneven terrain surface on whole-body locomotor dynamics immediately following exposure and after a familiarization period. Eleven young, unimpaired adults walked for 12 min on flat and uneven terrain treadmills. The whole-body center of mass excursion range (COMexc) and peak velocity (COMvel), step length and width were estimated. On first exposure to uneven terrain, we saw significant increases in medial–lateral COMexc and lateral COMvel, and in the variability of COMexc, COMvel and foot placement in both anterior–posterior and medial–lateral directions. Increases in step width and decreases in step length supported the immediate adoption of a cautious, restrictive solution on uneven terrain. After familiarization, step length increased and the variability of anterior–posterior COMvel and step length reduced, while step width and lateral COMvel reduced, alluding to a refinement of movement and a reduction of conservative strategies over time. However, the variability of medial–lateral COMexc and lateral COMvel increased, consistent with the release of previously constrained degrees of freedom. Despite this increase in variability, a strong relationship between step width and medial–lateral center of mass movement was maintained. Our results indicate that movement strategies of unimpaired adults when walking on uneven terrain can evolve over time with longer exposure to the surface.

KW - Biomechanics

KW - Gait

KW - Motor learning

KW - Uneven terrain

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85070024729&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85070024729&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1242/jeb.202093

DO - 10.1242/jeb.202093

M3 - Article

C2 - 31253712

AN - SCOPUS:85070024729

VL - 222

JO - Journal of Experimental Biology

JF - Journal of Experimental Biology

SN - 0022-0949

IS - 14

M1 - jeb202093

ER -