Research Roundup: May 2021

 

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Age-Related Reduction in Motor Adaptation

Wolpe N, Ingram J, Tsvetanov K, et al. (2020). Age-related reduction in motor adaptation: brain structural correlates and the role of explicit memory. Neurobiology of Aging 90: 13-23.

The authors of this study examined the differences in the brain structure and cognition underlying motor adaptation in a population-based cohort. Results support the hypothesis that sensorimotor adaptation is a composite of multiple learning strategies, which are differentially affected by age, and the authors conclude that "that across the lifespan, motor adaptation declines with age as a result of the deteriorating explicit learning system".

 

Key Points: Motor Adaptation and Age Related Changes
  • ...
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Research Roundup: September 2020

 

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Current trends in the biokinetic analysis of the foot and ankle

Metsavaht L, Leporace G. Current trends for the biokinetic analysis of the foot and ankle. J Foot Ankle. 2020;14(2):191-6.

This literature review argues that clinically we need to observe functional - rather than conventional - biomechanics at the ankle and foot. Functional biomechanics observes that all segments in a joint can be simultaneously mobile. The authors suggest that "the reader should be able to understand how the 3-dimensional biokinetic analysis of the ankle and foot can contribute along with imaging examinations to the clinical setting, thus allowing the construction of a more complete proļ¬le of the patient."

 

Key Points
  • The central...
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Research Roundup: May 2020

 

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Consolidation of Use-Dependent Motor Memories Induced By Passive Movement Training

G. Tays et al. Consolidation of use-dependent motor memories induced by passive movement training. Neuroscience Letters 732 (2020) 135080.

This study examined the lasting effect of passive training on visuomotor adaptation within a 24-hour timeline.

 

Key Points
  • Adapting to a sensorimotor environment requires complex and dynamic systems that can adjust to the environment within minutes, resulting in long-term performance changes.
  • Adaptation is driven by two primary learning mechanisms:
    • Error-based, model-based, or algorithmic learning; and
    • Use-dependent, model-free, or instant-reliant training.
  • Use-dependent learning occurs both during active...
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Research Roundup: March 2020

 

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Knee Joint Biomechanics in Transtibial Amputees in Gait, Cycling, and Elliptical Training

Orekhov G, Robinson AM, Hazelwood SJ, Klisch SM (2019) Knee joint biomechanics in transtibial amputees in gait, cycling, and elliptical training. PLoS ONE 14(12): e0226060.

This study looked at knee joint biomechanics in a young, healthy population with no activity restrictions, with a focus on energy storage and return (ESAR)  prostheses. The authors recognise that the study had a small sample size, and discuss potential sources of error for their data collection, but are confident about the clinical application of their findings.

 

 Key Points
  • There is a high prevalence of joint pain and osteoarthritis (OA) in...
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Research Roundup: February 2020

 

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Differences in Hip Strength, Gluteus Medius Activity, and Trunk, Pelvis, and Lower Limb Biomechanics During Different Functional Tasks.

Komsak Sinsurin, Raul Valldecabres & Jim Richards (2020) An exploration of the differences in hip strength, gluteus medius activity, and trunk, pelvis, and lower-limb biomechanics during different functional tasks, International Biomechanics, 7:1, 35-43, DOI: 10.1080/23335432.2020.1728381

This small study of healthy volunteers explored differences in the coronal biomechanics of the trunk, pelvis, hip, and knee joints, as well as gluteus medius muscle activity during walking and step down tasks.

 

Key Points 
  • Functional impairment of glute med can lead to excessive lateral trunk bending, which is often observed...
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Research Roundup: January 2020

 

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The Perception of Auditory Motion

Simon Carlile, Johahn Leung (2016): The Perception of Auditory Motion, Trends in Hearing, DOI: 10.1177/2331216516644254

This review of auditory motion is a fascinating look at how we are able to perceive the motion of objects, even as our bodies (and heads) are constantly moving.

 

Key Points 
  • Auditory motion cues arrive when either the sound is in motion, or the listener is in motion.
  • Listeners are best able to perceive auditory localisation (accurately and precisely) in the anterior field.
  • Auditory targets are encoded in a body-centred, rather than a head-centred coordinate system:
    • This implies that the accurate perception of the location of a sound source requires the integration of...
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Research Roundup: December 2019

 

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Unstable Sitting for the Prediction of Lumbar Stability

Larivière, Christian, Richard Preuss, Daniel Ludvig, and Sharon M. Henry. "Is postural control during unstable sitting a proxy measure for determinants associated with lumbar stability?" Journal of Biomechanics 102 (2020), 109581. doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2019.109581.

 This study compared various measures of lumbar trunk stability with a previously described unstable sitting task1. Of these measures, parameters of lumbar structural function and muscle activation and coordination were predictive for the unstable sitting task2:

  • Angular kinematics of pelvis or lumbar spine following rapid arm movement.
  • Lumbar intrinsic stiffness when resisting trunk...
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Research Roundup: November 2019

 

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COPD and Lower Limb Biomechanics

Wai-Yan Liu, Kenneth Meijer, Jeannet Delbressine, Paul Willems, Emiel Wouters, and Martijn Spruit. "Effects of Pulmonary Rehabilitation on Gait Characteristics in Patients with COPD." Journal of Clinical Medicine 8, no. 4 (2019), 459. doi:10.3390/jcm8040459.

Although this is a small study, the paper contributes to our knowledge base around the gait variations that are seen in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The paper concludes that “subjects with COPD walked with less consistent organization of movement patterns of the lower extremities across walking speeds. These findings suggest the presence of neuromuscular deterioration in the locomotor system, reflecting less...

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