Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Watch your step when the going gets rough

05.12.2005


Placing your foot accurately is a complicated process. If something moves where you plan to place your foot then you can adjust your step while your foot is swinging through. Experts thought previously that if nothing changed in the path, or in your plans, then the place where your foot will land is fixed before it even leaves the ground. In this case, you would make no use of immediate visual information during each step.



Researchers monitored the accuracy with which subjects could step onto a target. In 50% of the attempts they blocked subjects’ vision just at the point when they were lifting their foot off the ground. On the occasions when vision was blocked, the subjects were less able to step accurately on the target.

“Because vision was blocked only after the foot had left the floor, this research shows that we use visual information to adjust our footfall while our foot is moving forwards – it is not simply predetermined at the beginning of the step,” says Dr Raymond Reynolds, who along with Dr Brian Day conducted the work at the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London. The research is published this week in the Journal of Physiology.


This research models the sort of situation people encounter when rambling over rough terrain, where they need to accurately place their feet on well defined targets. Getting it right may avoid your slipping or twisting an ankle. “This visual guidance mechanism could also help gymnasts on the beam, or acrobat walkers on a tightrope, as in these situations accurate foot placement becomes crucial,” says Reynolds.

Carol Huxley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com
http://www.physoc.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>