Using feedback enhanced visual metronomes to manipulate gait dynamics

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ryan MacPherson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Christopher Rhea

Abstract: Recent literature suggests that gait dynamics plays a role in establishing healthy, adaptive gait behavior, and that illness or injury can alter the dynamic patterns of gait (termed fractal patterns). So called “dynamical diseases” change the fractal patterns in gait, hereby reducing adaptive gait ability and increasing fall-risk. Previous research has shown that fractal patterns in gait can be strengthened through the use of a fractal metronome stimulus. However, in previous research participants have consistently presented weaker fractal patterns than prescribed by the metronome, despite improvements from their baseline. One postulate is that this gap between the stimulus and the participants’ response is due to the prescriptive nature of the stimulus – that is, the metronome is presented with no interaction with the user. If so, the introduction of real-time feedback regarding synchrony with the stimulus may be beneficial to strengthening fractal patterns. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of feedback in increasing synchrony with a fractal metronome stimulus, and in entraining fractal gait patterns. There were three hypotheses: First, feedback would elicit a stronger coupling between participants’ gait dynamics and the dynamics of the stimulus relative to a non-feedback condition. Second, the addition of feedback to the visual metronome would lead to a stronger fractal pattern during the training and post-training (retention) phases. Third, participants with the strongest coupling during training would exhibit the strongest fractal patterns during training and post training. Results showed no difference in coupling between feedback and non-feedback conditions. The addition of feedback to the fractal metronome lead to no significant difference in fractal strength from baseline to training and baseline to retention. While greater coupling was correlated to stronger fractal patterns during training, there was no relationship between coupling and retention. This study provided further evidence supporting the use of metronomes to alter gait dynamics, and was one of the first to examine feedback in conjunction with fractal gait training.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Feedback, Fractals, Gait, Gait Dynamics
Gait in humans
Gait disorders
Metronome $x Therapeutic use
Feedback (Psychology)

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