Transitions to and from asymmetrical gait patterns

J Mot Behav. 2004 Mar;36(1):13-27. doi: 10.3200/JMBR.36.1.13-27.


Asymmetrical gait patterns such as the gallop provide insight into the complexity of human locomotion. The nature of spontaneous (e.g., walk-run), quasi-spontaneous (e.g., gallop-walk), and intentional (e.g., walk-gallop) transitions was analyzed in 2 ways in the present study. In Analysis 1, the authors used step-wise regression to associate 10 physical characteristics with gait transitions. Transition predictability was moderate; thigh length best predicted 3 of 6 transitions. In Analysis 2, the dynamic characteristics of transitions (order parameters, phase shifts, multistability, and critical fluctuations) were described; those characteristics existed for all transition types. The results of the analyses suggest that intentional transitions are less biomechanically predictable than are spontaneous transitions and that transitions between gait pairs (e.g., walk-gallop and gallop-walk), regardless of velocity direction, have more in common than do transitions requiring specific intention.

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Deceleration
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Gait*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Running*
  • Walking*