Van Andel, S., Cole, M. H & Pepping, G. (2018). Perceptual-motor regulation in locomotor pointing while approaching a curb [accepted manuscript]. Gait and Posture,60(February 2018), 164-170. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gaitpost.2017.12.006
Locomotor pointing is a task that has been the focus of research in the context of sport (e.g. long jumping and cricket) as well as normal walking. Collectively, these studies have produced abroad understanding of locomotor pointing, but generalizability has been limited to laboratory type tasks and/or tasks with high spatial demands. The current study aimed to generalize previous findings in locomotor pointing to the common daily task of approaching and stepping on to a curb. Sixteen people completed 33 repetitions of a task that required them to walk up to and step onto a curb. Information about their foot placement was collected using a combination of measures derived from a pressure-sensitive walkway and video data. Variables related to perceptual-motor regulation were analyzed on an inter-trial, intra-step and inter-step level. Similar to previous studies, analysis of the foot placements showed that, variability in foot placement decreased as the participants drew closer to the curb. Regulation seemed to be initiated earlier in this study compared to previous studies, as shown by a decreasing variability in foot placement as early as eight steps before reaching the curb. Furthermore, it was shown that when walking up to the curb, most people regulated their walk in a way so as to achieve minimal variability in the foot placement on top of the curb, rather than a placement in front of the curb. Combined, these results showed a strong perceptual-motor coupling in the task of approaching and stepping up a curb, rendering this task a suitable test for perceptual-motor regulation in walking.
School of Exercise Science
Open Access Journal Article