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Jean Jose da Silva, Fabio Augusto Barbieri, and Lilian Teresa Bucken Gobbi

Crossing moving obstacles requires different space-time adjustments compared with stationary obstacles. Our aim was to investigate gait spatial and temporal parameters in the approach and crossing phases of a moving obstacle. We hypothesized that obstacle speed affects gait parameters, which allow us to distinguish locomotor strategies. Ten young adults walked and stepped over an obstacle that crossed their way perpendicularly, under three obstacle conditions: control—stationary obstacle, slow (1.07m/s) and fast speed (1.71m/s) moving obstacles. Gait parameters were different between obstacle conditions, especially on the slow speed. In the fast condition, the participants adopted predictive strategies during the approach and crossing phases. In the slow condition, they used an anticipatory strategy in both phases. We conclude that obstacle speed affects the locomotor behavior and strategies were distinct in the obstacle avoidance phases.

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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.

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Renato Claudino, Marcio José dos Santos, and Giovana Zarpellon Mazo

responses to backward platform translation . Physiological Research, 61 ( 3 ), 331 – 335 . PubMed Hatzitaki , V. , Voudouris , D. , Nikodelis , T. , & Amiridis , I.G. ( 2009 ). Visual feedback training improves postural adjustments associated with moving obstacle avoidance in elderly women