Study of coordination and dynamics in pathological gait

Our understanding of human gait (the manner of walking and running) has been predominantly developed through biomechanical analyses using linear mathematics. However, both experimental and robotics fields have identified that an epistemological shift towards understanding the nonlinear dynamics inherent to our biological system is mathematically, theoretically and practically more fruitful. Specifically, nonlinear dynamics methods are used to explore and understand pattern stability, transitions between states, and deterministic and stochastic processes at different spatio-temporal scales during gait. It is likely that alterations in these nonlinear characteristic of biology are particularly pertinent in pathological movement, and provide more relevant indicators of health than classic mechanical measures. Therefore, in understanding human movement disorders and improving the management of these disorders, a nonlinear approach is key. The aim of this study is to quantify characteristics of the determinsitc properties of oscillations during walking in pathological states, in order to inform translational research. The purpose is to further understanding of the nonlinear characteristics of gait for pathological populations in order to underpin theoretically underpinned diagnoses and interventions. This project is a collaboration Dr Genevieve Williams (UoE), a biomechanist with an specialism in non-linear dynamics, Dr Stephane Armand (UNIGE), a clinical human movement scientist, and Dr Richard Pulsford (UoE) who has a specialism in physical activity monitoring. The team will bring together expertise in nonlinear dynamics analysis, clinical gait, and physical activity monitoring to progress clinical gait analysis and develop world leading translational research in this field. Participants Dr Genevieve Williams, University of Exeter Dr Stéphane Armand, University of Geneva Dr Richard Pulsford, University of Exeter