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This investigation utilized a Markov model to investigate the relationship of correlated lower extremity joint fluctuations and the selection of a steady state gait pattern in the young and elderly. Our model simulated the neuromuscular system by predicting the behavior of the joints for the next gait cycle based on the behavior exhibited in the preceding gait cycles. Such dependencies in the joint fluctuations have been noted previously in the literature. We speculated that compared to the young model, the characteristics of the correlated fluctuations in the elderly model would result in the selection of a different steady state gait pattern. The results of our simulation support the notion that correlated fluctuations in the joint kinematics influence the selection of a steady state gait pattern. The steady state gait pattern for the elderly model was dependent the ankle and hip. Conversely, the steady state gait pattern for the young control model was dependent on the behavior of the knee and hip. Based on our model, we suggested that the altered steady state gait patterns observed in the elderly may be due to an altered neuromuscular memory of prior joint behaviors.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Gait & Posture. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Gait & Posture, Vol. 24, Issue 4, (December 2006)

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Gait & Posture





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