Control of human locomotion under various task constraints

Exp Brain Res. 2002 Mar;143(1):133-6. doi: 10.1007/s00221-001-0990-8. Epub 2002 Jan 29.


The goal of this study was to identify the control mechanism used for locomotion pointing regulation under different external temporal constraints. Subjects ( n=8) had to walk on a treadmill through a number of virtual hallways and cross a pair of gliding doors that opened and closed at a constant preset frequency (0.5 Hz or 1 Hz). Crossing performance, step durations, and step lengths were used as dependent measures. The results revealed the regulation of locomotion occurred earlier and was more pronounced at 0.5 Hz than at 1 Hz, making performance better at 0.5 Hz. Nevertheless at the two frequencies the control mechanism appears similar; it is grounded on information movement coupling. This control mechanism allows for the production of specific behavior according to the task constraints.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Cues*
  • Feedback / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Genetic Variation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Task Performance and Analysis*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*