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The Nature of Walking

A Foundation for the Experimental Analysis of Orientation and Mobility
  • Jeffrey Kupfer
Chapter
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)

Abstract

Moving through the environment efficiently and safely is an important skill in the development and survival of organisms. Walking is one form of locomotor movement or travel by which human beings access or avoid particular objects, events, or areas in the environment. These locomotor movements are an important part of both commonplace and complex activities such as vacuuming rugs, mowing yards, carrying packages to and from the car to the house, marching in parades, sneaking out of a dull meeting, rushing to morning classes, crossing the street within the crosswalks, carrying glasses of water filled to the top, preparing to steal second base, dancing to a waltz, or strolling casually before taking in a movie. Common to each of these diverse activities is the behavior of walking; that is, walking at different speeds, with different gaits and postures, under different sets of circumstances, and controlled by different consequences that are arranged by the environment in which we live. The variables that control walking are broad-ranged, and research on these variables has been conducted from a “microlevel of analysis” of coordinated motor skills involving various parts and portions of the body to a “molar-level of analysis” of the entire organism walking within simple and complex environments. At both levels of analysis, vision plays a crucial role in the acquisition and maintenance of walking, and there is a substantial amount of research devoted to the analysis of the effects of vision and visual loss on walking. This chapter will focus on some of the methodological approaches to examining walking at both levels of analysis and, in particular, the role of vision and the effect of visual loss on walking will be described.

Keywords

Visual Impairment Verbal Behavior Behavioral Medicine Operant Behavior Verbal Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey Kupfer
    • 1
  1. 1.Mediplex of HolyokeHolyokeUSA

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