Kinematics of podokinetic after-rotation: Similarities to voluntary turning and potential clinical implications

Gammon M. Earhart, Minna Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the kinematics of voluntary turning in place at three different speeds and of inadvertent turning in place during attempts to step in place following stepping on a rotating disc (podokinetic after-rotation, PKAR). We hypothesized that voluntary turning in place, like online turning during walking, would be characterized by a top-down sequence of yaw rotations in the direction of the turn, i.e. the head would rotate first, followed by the trunk and then the foot. We also hypothesized that in place PKAR would be characterized by a bottom-up sequence of yaw rotations, i.e. the foot would rotate first, followed by the trunk and the head. The alternative possibility was that PKAR, like voluntary turning, would be initiated by the head and trunk and the foot would rotate last. As expected, voluntary turning in place was characterized by a top-down sequence similar to that noted previously during online turning in the midst of walking. Turning velocity did not alter the sequence of rotations in voluntary turning. In place PKAR was also characterized by a top-down sequence, indicating that PKAR may access the same neural circuits employed during voluntary turning. These data suggest that the rotating treadmill may be a useful training tool for addressing difficulties with turning that are experienced by individuals with Parkinson disease (PD).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Volume70
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2006

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Gait
  • Parkinson's disease

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