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Locomotor Coordination, Visual Perception and Head Stability during Running

1
Biomechanics Laboratory, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
2
Motor Control Laboratory, Texas A&M University – San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78224, USA
3
Motor Control Laboratory, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(3), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10030174
Received: 20 February 2020 / Revised: 13 March 2020 / Accepted: 16 March 2020 / Published: 18 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rhythmic Motor Pattern Generation)
Perception and action are coupled such that information from the perceptual system is related to the dynamics of action in order to regulate behavior adaptively. Using running as a model of a cyclic behavior, this coupling involves a continuous, cyclic relationship between the runner’s perception of the environment and the necessary adjustments of the body that ultimately result in a stable pattern of behavior. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how individuals relate visual perception to rhythmic locomotor coordination patterns in conditions during which foot–ground collisions and visual task demands are altered. We review the findings of studies conducted to illustrate how humans change their behavior to maintain head stability during running with and without various degrees of visual challenge from the environment. Finally, we show that the human body adapts specific segment/joint configuration and coordination patterns to maintain head stability, both in the lower extremity and upper body segments, together with an increase in coordinative variability. These results indicate that in human locomotion, under higher speed (running) and visual task demands, systematic adaptations occur in the rhythmic coupling between the perceptual and movement systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: perception; action; coordination; impact shock; shock attenuation perception; action; coordination; impact shock; shock attenuation
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Hamill, J.; Lim, J.; van Emmerik, R. Locomotor Coordination, Visual Perception and Head Stability during Running. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 174.

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