The present study investigated the adaptations of specific power bursts during the combined contexts of the proximity (lead vs. trail limb) and height of an obstruction in relation to limb elevation versus progression. Ten young, adult, male subjects walked at their natural speed during unobstructed walking and the bilateral avoidance of moderate and high obstacles. Hip flexor generation power was unaffected by obstacle height for the leading limb and always delayed for the trailing limb. The knee extensor absorption power burst at toe-off was also eliminated for the trailing limb and was found to reappear in mid-swing. Few differences were seen for ankle push-off power. The results suggest that the hip joint is dedicated to limb advancement only, while the knee joint is directly involved in limb elevation and the control of multiarticular effects.
Assane E.S. Niang and Bradford J. McFadyen
Martin Gérin-Lajoie, Carol L. Richards and Bradford J. McFadyen
This article introduces a novel, ecological, obstructed walking paradigm. Gait adaptations to circumvent obstacles undergoing uncertain displacements, and the effect of revealing the obstacle’s action beforehand, were investigated in young adults. The personal space (PS) maintained during walking was quantified for the first time under different environmental factors including auditory distractions. Obstacle movement and its uncertainty resulted in gait adjustments aimed at gaining time to assess the situation. Early gait adaptations and constant clearances around the obstacle suggest that anticipation and preplanning are involved in such navigational tasks. Participants systematically maintained an elliptical PS during circumvention, but they adjusted its size according to different environmental factors. There was a relationship between the size of PS and level of attention, which suggests that the regulation of PS is used to control locomotion. This novel paradigm has important implications for the assessment and training of locomotor ability within real world environments.
Désirée B. Maltais, Claire Gane, Sophie-Krystale Dufour, Dominik Wyss, Laurent J. Bouyer, Bradford J. McFadyen, Karl Zabjek, Jan Andrysek and Julien I.A. Voisin
Little is known about the effects of acute exercise on the cognitive functioning of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Selected cognitive functions were thus measured using a pediatric version of the Stroop test before and after maximal, locomotor based aerobic exercise in 16 independently ambulatory children (8 children with CP), 6–15 years old. Intense exercise had: 1) a significant, large, positive effect on reaction time (RT) for the CP group (preexercise: 892 ± 56.5 ms vs. postexercise: 798 ± 45.6 ms, p < .002, d = 1.87) with a trend for a similar but smaller response for the typically developing (TD) group (preexercise: 855 ± 56.5 ms vs. postexercise: 822 ± 45.6 ms, p < .08, d = 0.59), and 2) a significant, medium, negative effect on the interference effect for the CP group (preexercise: 4.5 ± 2.5%RT vs. postexercise: 13 ± 2.9%RT, p < .04, d = 0.77) with no significant effect for the TD group (preexercise: 7.2 ± 2.5%RT vs. postexercise: 6.9 ± 2.9%RT, p > .4, d = 0.03). Response accuracy was high in both groups pre- and postexercise (>96%). In conclusion, intense exercise impacts cognitive functioning in children with CP, both by increasing processing speed and decreasing executive function.