Walking speed influences the effects of implicit visual feedback distortion on modulation of gait symmetry

Gabrielle Maestas, Jiyao Hu, Jessica Trevino, Pranathi Chunduru, Seung Jae Kim, Hyunglae Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The use of visual feedback in gait rehabilitation has been suggested to promote recovery of locomotor function by incorporating interactive visual components. Our prior work demonstrated that visual feedback distortion of changes in step length symmetry entails an implicit or unconscious adaptive process in the subjects’ spatial gait patterns. We investigated whether the effect of the implicit visual feedback distortion would persist at three different walking speeds (slow, self-preferred and fast speeds) and how different walking speeds would affect the amount of adaption. In the visual feedback distortion paradigm, visual vertical bars portraying subjects’ step lengths were distorted so that subjects perceived their step lengths to be asymmetric during testing. Measuring the adjustments in step length during the experiment showed that healthy subjects made spontaneous modulations away from actual symmetry in response to the implicit visual distortion, no matter the walking speed. In all walking scenarios, the effects of implicit distortion became more significant at higher distortion levels. In addition, the amount of adaptation induced by the visual distortion was significantly greater during walking at preferred or slow speed than at the fast speed. These findings indicate that although a link exists between supraspinal function through visual system and human locomotion, sensory feedback control for locomotion is speed-dependent. Ultimately, our results support the concept that implicit visual feedback can act as a dominant form of feedback in gait modulation, regardless of speed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
StatePublished - Mar 26 2018


  • Gait adaptation
  • Gait rehabilitation
  • Step length symmetry
  • Visual feedback distortion
  • Walking speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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