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Journal Article


Martelli D, Monaco V, Bassi Luciani L, Micera S. IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 2013; 60(7): 1785-1795.


(Copyright © 2013, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers)






This study investigated the hypothesis that the coupled contribution of all body segments to the whole body response during both walking and managing unexpected perturbations is characterized by similar features which do not depend on the laterality (i.e., right versus left sides), but can be influenced by the direction (e.g., north, east, south, etc.) of the perturbation. The whole body angular momentum was estimated as summation of segmental angular momenta, while fifteen young adults managed ten unexpected unilateral perturbations during walking. Then, the Principal Component Analysis was used to extract primitive features describing inter-segment coordination. Results showed that inter-segment coupling was similar even though the reactive response to the perturbations elicited more consistent motor schemes across body segments than during walking, especially in the frontal plane. The direction of the perturbation significantly (p<0.05) affected angular momentum regulation documenting the attitude of the CNS to interpret multiple sensory inputs in order to produce context-dependent reactive responses. With respect to the side, results highlighted anisotropic features of the elicited motor schemes which seemed to depend on subjects dominance. Finally, results confirm that the coordination of upper and lower body segments is synergistically achieved strengthening the hypothesis that it may result from common neural pathways.

Language: en


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