Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 181, Issue 2, pp 221–228

Visual flow influences gait transition speed and preferred walking speed

  • Betty J. Mohler
  • William B. Thompson
  • Sarah H. Creem-Regehr
  • Herbert L. PickJr
  • William H. WarrenJr
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00221-007-0917-0

Cite this article as:
Mohler, B.J., Thompson, W.B., Creem-Regehr, S.H. et al. Exp Brain Res (2007) 181: 221. doi:10.1007/s00221-007-0917-0

Abstract

It is typically assumed that basic features of human gait are determined by purely biomechanical factors. In two experiments, we test whether gait transition speed and preferred walking speed are also influenced by visual information about the speed of self-motion. The visual flow during treadmill locomotion was manipulated to be slower than, matched to, or faster than the physical gait speed (visual gains of 0.5, 1.0, 2.0). Higher flow rates elicit significantly lower transition speeds for both the Walk–Run and Run–Walk transition, as expected. Similarly, higher flow rates elicit significantly lower preferred walking speeds. These results suggest that visual information becomes calibrated to mechanical or energetic aspects of gait and contributes to the control of locomotor behavior.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Betty J. Mohler
    • 1
  • William B. Thompson
    • 1
  • Sarah H. Creem-Regehr
    • 2
  • Herbert L. PickJr
    • 3
  • William H. WarrenJr
    • 4
  1. 1.School of ComputingUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.University of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  4. 4.Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA