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Florian Van Halewyck, Ann Lavrysen, Oron Levin, Digby Elliott and Werner F. Helsen

Older adults traditionally adapt their discrete aiming movements, thereby traveling a larger proportion of the movement under closed-loop control. As the beneficial impact of a physically active lifestyle in older age has been described for several aspects of motor control, we compared the aiming performance of young controls to active and sedentary older adults. To additionally determine the contribution of visual feedback, aiming movements were executed with and without saccades. Results showed only sedentary older adults adopted the typical movement changes, highlighting the impact of a physically active lifestyle on manual aiming in older age. In an attempt to reveal the mechanism underlying the movement changes, evidence for an age-related decline in force control was found, which in turn resulted in an adapted aiming strategy. Finally, prohibiting saccades did not affect older adults’ performance to a greater extent, suggesting they do not rely more on visual feedback than young controls.

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Margaret K.Y. Mak, Oron Levin, Joseph Mizrahi and Christina W.Y. Hui-Chan

Calculation of joint torques during the rising phase of sit-to-stand motion is in most cases indeterminate, due to the unknown thighs/chair reaction forces in addition to the other sources of uncertainties such as joint positioning and anthropometric data. In the present study we tested the reliability of computation of the joint torques from a five-segment model; we used force plate data of thighs/chair and feet/ground reaction forces, in addition to kinematic measurements. While solving for joint torques before and after seat-off, differences between model solutions and measured data were calculated and minimized using an iterative algorithm for the reestimation of joint positioning and anthropometric properties. The above method was demonstrated for a group of six normal elderly persons.