alexa Effects of Visual Feedback Distortion on Gait Adaptation: Comparison of Implicit Visual Distortion Versus Conscious Modulation on Retention of Motor Learning.
Physicaltherapy & Rehabilitation

Physicaltherapy & Rehabilitation

International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Author(s): Kim SJ, Ogilvie M, Shimabukuro N, Stewart T, Shin JH

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GOAL: Visual feedback can be used during gait rehabilitation to improve the efficacy of training. We presented a paradigm called visual feedback distortion; the visual representation of step length was manipulated during treadmill walking. Our prior work demonstrated that an implicit distortion of visual feedback of step length entails an unintentional adaptive process in the subjects' spatial gait pattern. Here, we investigated whether the implicit visual feedback distortion, versus conscious correction, promotes efficient locomotor adaptation that relates to greater retention of a task. METHODS: Thirteen healthy subjects were studied under two conditions: (1) we implicitly distorted the visual representation of their gait symmetry over 14 min, and (2) with help of visual feedback, subjects were told to walk on the treadmill with the intent of attaining the gait asymmetry observed during the first implicit trial. After adaptation, the visual feedback was removed while subjects continued walking normally. Over this 6-min period, retention of preserved asymmetric pattern was assessed. RESULTS: We found that there was a greater retention rate during the implicit distortion trial than that of the visually guided conscious modulation trial. CONCLUSION: This study highlights the important role of implicit learning in the context of gait rehabilitation by demonstrating that training with implicit visual feedback distortion may produce longer lasting effects. SIGNIFICANCE: This suggests that using visual feedback distortion could improve the effectiveness of treadmill rehabilitation processes by influencing the retention of motor skills.

This article was published in IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

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