Treadmill locomotion of the mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus); kinematic parameters during symmetrical and asymmetrical gaits
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The gaits of the adult grey mouse lemur Microcebus murinus were studied during treadmill locomotion over a large range of velocities. The locomotion sequences were analysed to determine the gait and the various spatiotemporal gait parameters of the limbs. We found that velocity adjustments are accounted for differently by stride frequency and stride length depending on whether the animal showed a symmetrical or an asymmetrical gait. When using symmetrical gaits the increase in velocity is associated with a constant contribution of the stride length and stride frequency; the increase of the stride frequency being always lower. When using asymmetrical gaits, the increase in velocity is mainly assured by an increase in the stride length which tends to decrease with increasing velocity. A reduction in both stance time and swing time contributed to the increase in stride frequency for both gaits, though with a major contribution from the decrease in stance time. The pattern of locomotion obtained in a normal young adult mouse lemurs can be used as a template for studying locomotor control deficits during aging or in different environments such as arboreal ones which likely modify the kinematics of locomotion.
KeywordsStride frequency Stride length Stance duration Swing duration Primate
We are indebted to D. Champeval, L. Dezaire, E. Guéton-Estrade, S. Gondor, and D. Lavoine who provided attentive care for the animals. We are very grateful to both reviewers for their carefully comments which largely increase the quality of our manuscript, and A. Herrel for improving the English. Funded by ANR Locomo (ANR-06-BLAN-0132). The procedures used in this study were approved by the Ethics committee on animal experimentation “Comité Cuvier” registration number 68-023.
This work was performed with the financial support from ANR Locomo (06-BLAN-0132) and the UMR 7179 (MNHN/CNRS).
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