The effect of perturbation onset timing and length on tripping recovery strategies.

Camila Shirota*, Ann M. Simon, Elliott J. Rouse, Todd A. Kuiken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


In control subjects, trips during the early and late swing phase of walking elicit elevating and lowering strategies, respectively. However, the transition between these recovery strategies during mid-swing is unclear. A better understanding of this transition would provide insight into what factors cause individuals to choose one strategy over another. Three control subjects walked on a treadmill while attached to a custom-made tripping device. Perturbations of various lengths (ranging from 50 ms to 350 ms) were applied throughout the swing phase of gait. The results suggest that as perturbation length increased, the transition from elevating to lowering strategies occurred at earlier perturbation onsets. The transition period varied linearly with perturbation length. Perturbation lengths of 150 ms to 250 ms more closely replicated strategy selection in trips induced by real obstacles. Perturbations that are longer in duration force the transition from an elevating to a lowering strategy to occur at an earlier percentage of swing. These results show that perturbation length affects recovery strategy selection in response to trips.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics

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