Energetic Costs of Incidental Visual Coupling during Treadmill Running

MSL research field: 
Motor control
TitleEnergetic Costs of Incidental Visual Coupling during Treadmill Running
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsEaves, D, Hodges, NJ, Williams, AM
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Pagination1506 - 1514
Date Published2008
Keywordsbimanual coordination, locomotion, motor control, perception

Purpose: We examined the role of visual-spatial information during whole body coordination. Methods: Physiological, biomechanical, and psychological indices of coordination stability were recorded while participants were visually coupled with a whole body image of themselves during treadmill locomotion. Ten participants ran on a treadmill under three visual conditions: two dynamic images (symmetrical, mirror image; asymmetrical, reversed mirror image) and one static. Performance was examined at two speeds. Results: Participants ran more economically (ml·kg·min-1) when participants were visually coupled with a symmetrical rather than an asymmetrical or static image. An asymmetrical coupling resulted in increased variability in footfall position at the faster speed, in comparison to the symmetrical and static conditions. However, at slower speeds, footfall variability and frequency were higher under both dynamic visual conditions in comparison to the static control. Conclusion: It appears that changes in physiology were only partially mediated by movement kinematics. Visual information influences treadmill locomotion and associated measures of stability even when there is no intention to coordinate.

Short TitleMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
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