Author(s): Kubo M, Ulrich BD
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Abstract The authors examined the changes in bipedal gait of toddlers in the anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) directions, as a set, at the onset of independent gait and 1 month after onset. Two groups with distinctly different dynamic resources were studied: 8 toddlers with typical development (TD) and 8 toddlers with Down syndrome (DS). Three-dimensional kinematic data were collected, and gait parameters, such as walking speed, stride length, and stride frequency, as well as the ratio of exchange between potential energy and kinetic energy of the center of mass (COM), were calculated. Displacement of the COM in the AP and ML directions were also analyzed. For some gait variables, toddlers with DS seemed to show more mature values at walking onset than their peers with TD. Those group differences reversed and increased by Visit 2. When the authors considered the motion of the COM of the system, it became clear that the qualitative differences between those groups were characterized primarily by constraints in the ML direction. The authors propose that establishment of coupling between AP and ML oscillations is a key component for the emergence of independent bipedal walking for both populations.
This article was published in J Mot Behav
and referenced in Journal of Down Syndrome & Chromosome Abnormalities