A Dynamical Systems Approach to Understanding the Development of Lower Limb Coordination in Locomotion

  • Jane E. Clark
  • Terri L. Truly
  • Sally J. Phillips
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASID, volume 56)


A dynamical systems approach is pursued for understanding the development of lower limb coordination in locomotion. Following the synergetic strategy proposed by Kelso and Schöner (1988), we sought first a collective variable to describe the lower limb action. We report here on our work to identify this collective variable. For interlimb and intralimb coordination, we propose that the phase lag relationship is an appropriate candidate for the collective variable. Whether this variable is measured at selected points (i.e., point coordination) or is measured throughout the gait cycle (i.e., continuous coordination) depends on the questions asked. With the collective variable identified, future work is directed to mapping the collective variable onto an attractor. Preliminary evidence suggests that a periodic attractor would be suitable.


Phase Angle Phase Portrait Gait Cycle Dynamical System Theory Step Cycle 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane E. Clark
  • Terri L. Truly
  • Sally J. Phillips

There are no affiliations available

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