Month/Year of Graduation
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Biomechanics Research Building
Dr. Carolin Curtze
To navigate complex environments, our gaze needs to attenuate to locomotor tasks, such as walking and turning. Shifting gaze (i.e., rotation of the eyes and head), is important when moving through different environments. The aim of this study was to compare gaze anticipation during clinical tests and complex real-world locomotion. I hypothesized that older adults would shift their gaze in a new heading direction in anticipation of turns. I further predicted increased gaze anticipation in tasks that have a high demand for spatial orientation. Participants were asked to complete clinical tasks consisting of a 2-minute walk, figure-8, and 360-turning in place, and to navigate along a hallway consisting of a variety of turns to the left and right. Eye-tracking glasses were worn by the participant to collect horizontal head and eye movements. My findings highlight the importance of eye and head coordination for locomotion. Moreover, gaze attenuation was highly task specific. Real-world situations required increased spatial orientation, and in turn, increased eye and head movements to complete the task. This suggests different tasks require different levels of spatial orientation and clinical tests should be adequately complex to produce ecologically valid results.
Mavrov, Kalina, "Gaze During Turning in Older Adults" (2023). Theses/Capstones/Creative Projects. 247.