Fast and slow processes underlie the selection of both step frequency and walking speed

The Journal of Experimental Biology
Renato PagliaraJ Maxwell Donelan


People prefer gaits that minimize their energetic cost. Research focused on step frequency selection suggests that a fast predictive process and a slower optimization process underlie this energy optimization. Our purpose in this study was to test whether the mechanisms controlling step frequency selection are used more generally to select one of the most relevant characteristics of walking - preferred speed. To accomplish this, we contrasted the dynamic adjustments in speed following perturbations to step frequency against the dynamic adjustments in step frequency following perturbations to speed. Despite the use of different perturbations and contexts, we found that the responses were very similar. In both experiments, subjects responded to perturbations by first rapidly changing their speed or step frequency towards their preferred pattern, and then slowly adjusting their gait to converge onto their preferred pattern. We measured similar response times for both the fast processes (1.4±0.3 versus 2.7±0.6 s) and the slow processes (74.2±25.4 versus 79.7±20.2 s). We also found that the fast process, although quite variable in amplitude, dominated the adjustments in both speed and step frequency. These distinct but complementary...Continue Reading


Nov 1, 1976·The Journal of Physiology·G A CavagnaA Zamboni
Jul 1, 1972·The Journal of Physiology·D I McCloskey, J H Mitchell
Jul 1, 1971·The Journal of Physiology·J H CooteJ F Perez-Gonzalez
Jul 1, 1983·Journal of Applied Physiology: Respiratory, Environmental and Exercise Physiology·Marc P KaufmanJ H Mitchell
Apr 26, 2001·Journal of Theoretical Biology·J E Bertram, Andy Ruina
Sep 26, 2001·Proceedings. Biological Sciences·J Maxwell DonelanA D Kuo
Feb 25, 2003·Clinical Autonomic Research : Official Journal of the Clinical Autonomic Research Society·Marc P Kaufman, Shawn G Hayes
Jun 13, 2003·Experimental Brain Research·R F Reynolds, A M Bronstein
Feb 5, 2004·Annals of Biomedical Engineering·T MüllerJ Timmer
Mar 16, 2005·The Journal of Experimental Biology·John E A Bertram
Sep 4, 2007·The Journal of Experimental Biology·Brian R Umberger, Philip E Martin
Dec 24, 2008·The Journal of Physiology·Shawn G HayesMarc P Kaufman
Jan 24, 2009·Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development·Michael S OrendurffGlenn K Klute
Mar 12, 2011·Journal of Applied Physiology·Mark SnaterseJ Maxwell Donelan
Jan 14, 2012·Journal of Applied Physiology·Kristine L SnyderJ Maxwell Donelan
Feb 3, 2012·Journal of Neurophysiology·Shawn M O'Connor, J Maxwell Donelan


May 4, 2015·Journal of Biomechanics·Jill E HubbuchJesse C Dean
Feb 15, 2017·American Journal of Physical Anthropology·Joseph K Rathkey, Cara M Wall-Scheffler
Mar 10, 2017·PloS One·Sandra Dorothee Starke, Chris Baber
Jul 4, 2017·PloS One·Ryan S Alcantara, Cara M Wall-Scheffler
Mar 14, 2019·Journal of Neurophysiology·Jeremy D WongJ Maxwell Donelan
Dec 25, 2019·Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation·Arturo Forner-CorderoHermano Igo Krebs
Jun 24, 2017·Journal of Neurophysiology·Jeremy D WongJ Maxwell Donelan
Sep 7, 2019·The Journal of Experimental Biology·Jessica C SelingerJ Maxwell Donelan

Related Concepts

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease characterized by unexplained disabling fatigue; the pathology of which is incompletely understood. Discover the latest research on chronic fatigue syndrome here.

Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy

Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathies are a group of inherited neurodegenerative disorders characterized clinically by loss of sensation and autonomic dysfunction. Here is the latest research on these neuropathies.

Glut1 Deficiency

Glut1 deficiency, an autosomal dominant, genetic metabolic disorder associated with a deficiency of GLUT1, the protein that transports glucose across the blood brain barrier, is characterized by mental and motor developmental delays and infantile seizures. Follow the latest research on Glut1 deficiency with this feed.

Regulation of Vocal-Motor Plasticity

Dopaminergic projections to the basal ganglia and nucleus accumbens shape the learning and plasticity of motivated behaviors across species including the regulation of vocal-motor plasticity and performance in songbirds. Discover the latest research on the regulation of vocal-motor plasticity here.

Neural Activity: Imaging

Imaging of neural activity in vivo has developed rapidly recently with the advancement of fluorescence microscopy, including new applications using miniaturized microscopes (miniscopes). This feed follows the progress in this growing field.

Nodding Syndrome

Nodding Syndrome is a neurological and epileptiform disorder characterized by psychomotor, mental, and growth retardation. Discover the latest research on Nodding Syndrome here.

LRRK2 & Microtubules

Mutations in the LRRK2 gene are risk-factors for developing Parkinson’s disease (PD). LRRK2 mutations in PD have been shown to enhance its association with microtubules. Here is the latest research.

Related Papers

European Journal of Applied Physiology
James R Usherwood, John E A Bertram
The Journal of Experimental Biology
Anne K GutmannJohn E A Bertram
© 2021 Meta ULC. All rights reserved