We have completed maintenance on DiscoverMagazine.com and action may be required on your account. Learn More

NCBI ROFL: The science of spontaneous synchronized stepping.

By ncbi rofl
Jan 10, 2013 4:00 AMNov 20, 2019 5:46 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Modality-specific communication enabling gait synchronization during over-ground side-by-side walking. "An attentive observer will notice that unintentional synchronization of gait between two walkers on the street seems to occur frequently. Nonetheless, the rate of occurrence and motor-sensory mechanisms underlying this phase-locking of gait have only recently begun to be investigated. Previous studies have either been qualitative or carried out under non-natural conditions, e.g., treadmill walking. The present study quantitatively examined the potential sensory mechanisms that contribute to the gait synchronization that occurs when two people walk side by side along a straight, over-ground, pathway. Fourteen pairs of subjects walked 70m under five conditions that manipulated the available sensory feedback. The modalities studied were visual, auditory, and tactile. Movement was quantified using a trunk-mounted tri-axial accelerometer. A gait synchronization index (GSI) was calculated to quantify the phase synchronization of the gait rhythms. Overall, 36% of the walks exhibited synchrony. Tactile and auditory feedback showed the greatest ability to synchronize, while visual feedback was the least effective. The results show that gait synchronization during natural walking is common, quantifiable, and has modality-specific properties."

Photo: flickr/osd29

Related content: Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: These boots were made for walking, and have a decreased balance performance compared with tennis shoes. Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Why walking blindfolded in the Sahara desert might get you lost. Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Walking with coffee: Why does it spill? NCBI ROFL. Real articles. Funny subjects. Read our FAQ!

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.