Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 237, Issue 1, pp 257–271 | Cite as

Local dynamic stability in temporal pattern of intersegmental coordination during various stride time and stride length combinations

  • Benio Kibushi
  • Toshio Moritani
  • Motoki KouzakiEmail author
Research Article


For the regulation of walking speed, the central nervous system must select appropriate combinations of stride time and stride length (stride time–length combinations) and coordinate many joints or segments in the whole body. However, humans achieve both appropriate selection of stride time–length combinations and effortless coordination of joints or segments. Although this selection of stride time–length combination has been explained by minimized energy cost, it may also be explained by the stability of kinematic coordination. Therefore, we investigated the stability of kinematic coordination during walking across various stride time–length combinations. Whole body kinematic coordination was quantified as the kinematic synergies that represents the groups of simultaneously move segments (intersegmental coordination) and their activation patterns (temporal coordination). In addition, the maximum Lyapunov exponents were utilized to evaluate local dynamic stability. We calculated the maximum Lyapunov exponents in temporal coordination of kinematic synergies across various stride time–length combinations. The results showed that the maximum Lyapunov exponents of temporal coordination depended on stride time–length combinations. Moreover, the maximum Lyapunov exponents were high at fast walking speeds and very short stride length conditions. This result implies that fast walking speeds and very short stride length were associated with lower local dynamic stability of temporal coordination. We concluded that fast walking is associated with lower local dynamic stability of temporal coordination of kinematic synergies.


Maximum Lyapunov exponents Motor control Kinematic synergies Singular value decomposition Stride time Stride length 


Author contributions

Conception and design of the experiments: BK, TM, and MK. Collection, analysis and interpretation of the data: BK. Drafting of the article or critical revision for important intellectual content: BK and MK. Final approval of the version to be published: BK, TM, and MK.


This work was supported by the Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Research Fellow (Grant Number 16J07348); the Japanese Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI); and the Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP Project ID 14533567 Funding agency: Bio-oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution, NARO).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Data availability

The datasets analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Neurophysiology, Graduate School of Human and Environmental StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of ScienceTokyoJapan
  3. 3.School of Health and Sport SciencesChukyo UniversityNagoyaJapan

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