Visuomotor control of step descent : the importance of visual information from the lower visual field in regulating landing control. When descending a step from a stationary standing position or during on-going gait, is online visual information from the lower visual field important in regulating prelanding kinematic and landing mechanic variables?
AuthorTimmis, Matthew A.
SupervisorBuckley, John G.
Elliott, David B.
Lower visual field
The University of Bradford theses are licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.
InstitutionUniversity of Bradford
DepartmentDepartment of Engineering Design and Technology
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe majority of previous research investigating the role of vision in controlling adaptive gait has predominantly focused on over-ground walking or obstacle negotiation. Thus there is a paucity of literature investigating visuomotor control of step descent. This thesis addressed the importance of the lower visual field (lvf) in regulating step descent landing control, and determined when visual feedback is typically used in regulating landing control prior to / during step descent. When step descents were completed from a stationary starting position, with the lvf occluded or degraded, participants adapted their stepping strategy in a manner consistent with being uncertain regarding the precise location of the foot / lower leg relative to the floor. However, these changes in landing control under conditions of lvf occlusion were made without fundamentally altering stepping strategy. This suggests that participants were able to plan the general stepping strategy when only upper visual field cues were available. When lvf was occluded from either 2 or 1 step(s) prior to descending a step during on-going gait, stepping strategy was only affected when the lvf was occluded in the penultimate step. Findings suggest that lvf cues are acquired in the penultimate step / few seconds prior to descent and provide exproprioceptive information of the foot / lower leg relative to the floor which ensures landing is regulated with increased certainty. Findings also highlight the subtle role of online vision used in the latter portion of step descent to 'fine tune' landing control.
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