Motor-equivalent covariation stabilizes step parameters and center of mass position during treadmill walking

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We investigated motor-equivalent stabilization of task-related variables (TRV) at times of heel strike in eight healthy young men (23-30 years) who walked on a motorized treadmill at self-selected and prescribed speeds within the normal walking speed range. The TRV consisted of step parameters (step length and width) and the center of mass (CoM) position relative to the support (back and front feet). Motor-equivalent stabilization of the TRV was assessed using a decorrelation technique, comparing empirical to decorrelated (covariation-free) variability. Analysis indicated reliable covariation for all TRV. In both the fore-aft and lateral directions, stabilization by covariation was highest for CoM position relative to the front foot, indicating a prioritization of equilibrium-related variables. Correlations among TRV revealed that the relation between CoM and step parameter control differed between the fore-aft and lateral directions. While stabilization of lateral foot position appears to be due to control of CoM relative to each foot, step length showed small, but reliable, stabilization beyond CoM stabilization, which may be related to spatiotemporal regularity of the step pattern.


  • Julius Verrel
  • Martin Lövdén
  • Ulman Lindenberger
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurosciences


  • coordination, Equilibrium, Gait variability, Covariation by randomization, Movement
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-26
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch