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The body's compensatory responses to unpredictable trip and slip perturbations induced by a programmable split-belt treadmill.

Research paper by Beom-Chan BC Lee, Chul-Soo CS Kim, Kap-Ho KH Seo

Indexed on: 06 Feb '20Published on: 11 Jun '19Published in: IEEE transactions on neural systems and rehabilitation engineering : a publication of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society



Abstract

This study investigates the influence of two types of gait perturbation (i.e., trip and slip) induced by a programmable split-belt treadmill on the body's compensatory responses. Our fall-inducing technology equipped with a commercially available programmable split-belt treadmill provides unpredictable trip and slip perturbations during walking. Two force plates beneath the split-belt treadmill and a motion capture system quantify the body's kinetic and kinematic behaviors, and a wireless surface electromyography (EMG) system evaluates the lower limb muscle activity. Twenty healthy young adults participated. The perturbations (i.e., trip and slip) were applied randomly to the participant's left foot between the 31st and 40th steps. The kinetic and kinematic behaviors and lower limb muscle activity were assessed during the standing, walking, and recovery periods. Compared to trip perturbations, stepping responses to slip perturbations were quicker and trunk, shoulder, and whole body center of mass movements after slip perturbations were higher; EMG results showed that tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, rectus femoris, and biceps femoris activities were also higher. The two common types of gait perturbation (i.e., trip and slip) induced by a commercially available programmable split-belt treadmill influenced the body's compensatory responses.