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An exploratory analysis of the effect of target geometry on kinematic variability during adaptive locomotion Open Access


Other title
Human locomotion
Walking -- Physiological aspects
Human mechanics
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Runnalls, Keith David
Supervisor and department
Maraj, Brian (Physical Education and Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
Maraj, Brian (Physical Education and Recreation)
Jones, Kelvin (Physical Education and Recreation)
Misiaszek, John (Occupational Therapy)
Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Bipedal locomotion over uneven terrain is a critical movement skill; however, a paucity of knowledge exists regarding the processes underlying the selection and execution of foot placements. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between geometric features of the walking surface and spatial patterns of movement variability. Twelve healthy young adults completed a series of blocked trials in which they walked at a self selected pace, using two interchangeable blocks as footholds. The shape and configuration of the stepping blocks was manipulated to create 6 conditions. Foot kinematics were recorded using 3D optical motion capture. Patterns of end–point variability were reflective of stepping block geometry, indicating the movement potential afforded by a surface plays a role in stabilizing the movement pattern. This was interpreted as evidence of a rough terrain strategy which maximizes the probability of successful foot placement and minimizes the need for controller intervention.
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File title: Final Thesis
File author: Keith Runnalls
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