Preferred step frequency minimizes veering during natural human walking

Azusa Uematsu*, Koh Inoue, Hiroaki Hobara, Hirofumi Kobayashi, Yuki Iwamoto, Tibor Hortobágyi, Shuji Suzuki

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    In the absence of visual information, humans cannot maintain a straight walking path. We examined the hypothesis that step frequency during walking affects the magnitude of veering in healthy adults. Subject walked at a preferred (1.77 ± 0.18. Hz), low (0.8 × preferred, 1.41 ± 0.15. Hz), and high (1.2× preferred, 2.13 ± 0.20. Hz) step frequency with and without a blindfold. We compared the absolute differences between estimated and measured points of crossing a target line after 16. m of forward walking at the three step frequencies. There was no significant difference in veering when subjects walked at the different frequencies without a blindfold. However, the magnitude of veering was the smallest at the preferred (mean ± SE = 91.6 ± 33.6. cm) compared with the low (204.3 ± 43.0. cm) and high (112.7 ± 34.0. cm) frequency gaits with a blindfold. Thus, walking at a preferred step frequency minimizes veering, which occurs in the absence of visual information. This phenomenon may be associated with the previously reported minimization of movement variability, energy cost, and attentional demand while walking at a preferred step frequency.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)291-293
    Number of pages3
    JournalNeuroscience Letters
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov 21


    • Step frequency
    • Veering
    • Visual information
    • Walking

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Neuroscience(all)


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