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Route previewing results in altered gaze behaviour, increased self-confidence and improved stepping safety in both young and older adults during adaptive locomotion

Hollands, MA and Curzon-Jones, B Route previewing results in altered gaze behaviour, increased self-confidence and improved stepping safety in both young and older adults during adaptive locomotion. Experimental Brain Research. ISSN 0014-4819 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Older adults with falls-risk tend to look away prematurely from targets for safe foot placement to view future hazards; behaviour associated with increased anxiety and stepping inaccuracies. We aimed to determine the effectiveness of route-previewing in reducing anxiety and optimizing gaze behaviour and stepping performance of young and older adults. Nine younger and nine older adults completed six walks with three task complexities over two sessions. Each trial used either an isolated stepping target, or a target followed by either one or two obstacles. Participants with eyes closed, on hearing a signal, opened their eyes and initiated walking (go trials) or stood previewing the route for 10s before starting (preview trials). Kinematic data were collected using a Vicon motion analysis system. Gaze behaviour was recorded using a Dikablis eye tracker. On average, both older and younger adults fixated the target for significantly longer during walking when they had previewed the route than when they had not. Self-confidence scores were also significantly higher following ‘preview trials’ than ‘go trials’. Stepping performance significantly improved following route previewing (reduced Medial lateral foot placement variability for both groups and reduced Anterior/posterior foot placement error in older adults only). These findings implicate route previewing as a potential intervention to increase self-confidence and reduce the risk of tripping in older adults.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical And Health Sciences, 17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Springer
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2018 10:08
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2018 10:08
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7991

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