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Open AccessArticle

Cadence Modulation in Walking and Running: Pacing Steps or Strides?

Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam Movement Sciences, van der Boechorststraat 7-9, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Brain Sci. 2020, 10(5), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10050273
Received: 6 April 2020 / Revised: 26 April 2020 / Accepted: 27 April 2020 / Published: 1 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rhythmic Motor Pattern Generation)
A change in cadence during walking or running might be indicated for a variety of reasons, among which mobility improvement and injury prevention. In a within-subject study design, we examined whether walking or running cadences are modulated best by means of step-based or stride-based auditory pacing. Sixteen experienced runners walked and ran on a treadmill while synchronizing with step-based and stride-based pacing at slow, preferred and fast pacing frequencies in synchronization-perturbation and synchronization-continuation conditions. We quantified the variability of the relative phase between pacing cues and footfalls and the responses to perturbations in the pacing signal as measures of coordinative stability; the more stable the auditory-motor coordination, the stronger the modulating effect of pacing. Furthermore, we quantified the deviation from the prescribed cadence after removal of the pacing signal as a measure of internalization of this cadence. Synchronization was achieved less often in running, especially at slow pacing frequencies. If synchronization was achieved, coordinative stability was similar, and the paced cadence was well internalized for preferred and fast pacing frequencies. Step-based pacing led to more stable auditory-motor coordination than stride-based pacing in both walking and running. We therefore concluded that step-based auditory pacing deserves preference as a means to modulate cadence in walking and running. View Full-Text
Keywords: acoustic pacing; cadence; perturbations; relative phase; sensorimotor synchronization; coordinative stability acoustic pacing; cadence; perturbations; relative phase; sensorimotor synchronization; coordinative stability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nijs, A.; Roerdink, M.; Beek, P.J. Cadence Modulation in Walking and Running: Pacing Steps or Strides? Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 273.

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