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Liebermann, D. G., & Hoffman, J. R. (2005). Timing of preparatory landing responses as a function of availability of optic flow information. J Electromyogr Kinesiol, 15(1), 120–130.
Abstract: This study investigated temporal patterns of EMG activity during self-initiated falls with different optic flow information ('gaze directions'). Onsets of EMG during the flight phase were monitored from five experienced volunteers that completed 72 landings in three gaze directions (downward, mid-range and horizontal) and six heights of fall (10-130 cm). EMG recordings were obtained from the right gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior, biceps femoris and rectus femoris muscles, and used to determine the latency of onset (L(o)) and the perceived time to contact (T(c)). Impacts at touchdown were also monitored using as estimates the major peak of the vertical ground reaction forces (F(max)) normalized to body mass, time to peak (T(max)), peak impulse (I(norm)) normalized to momentum, and rate of change of force (dF(max)/dt). Results showed that L(o) was longer as heights of fall increased, but remained within a narrow time-window at >50 cm landings. No significant differences in L(o) were observed when gaze direction was changed. The relationship between T(c) and flight time followed a linear trend regardless of gaze direction. Gaze direction did not significantly affect the landing impacts. In conclusion, availability of optic flow during landing does not play a major role in triggering the preparatory muscle actions in self-initiated falls. Once a structured landing plan has been acquired, the relevant muscles respond relative to the start of the fall.
Keywords: Adult; Cues; Electromyography; Humans; Male; Movement/physiology; Muscle, Skeletal/*physiology; Posture/physiology; Psychomotor Performance/*physiology; Vision, Ocular/*physiology
Liebermann, D. G., & Goodman, D. (1991). Effects of visual guidance on the reduction of impacts during landings. Ergonomics, 34(11), 1399–1406.
Abstract: While a common view is that vision is essential to motor performance, some recent studies have shown that continuous visual guidance may not always be required within certain time constraints. This study investigated a landing-related task (self-released falls) to assess the extent to which visual information enhances the ability to reduce the impacts at touchdown. Six individuals performed six blocked trials from four height categories in semi-counterbalanced order (5-10, 20-25, 60-65, and 90-95 cm) in vision and no-vision conditions randomly assigned. A series of two-way ANOVA with repeated measures were carried out separately on each dependent variable collapsed over six trials. The results indicated that vision during the flight did not produce softer landings. Indeed, in analysing the first peak (PFP) a main effect for visual condition was revealed in that the mean amplitude was slightly higher when vision was available (F(1,5) = 6.57; p less than 0.05), thus implicating higher forces at impact. The results obtained when the time to the first peak (TFP) was applied showed no significant differences between conditions (F(1,5) less than 1). As expected, in all cases, the analyses yielded significant main effects for the height categories factor. It appears that during self-initiated falls in which the environmental cues are known before the event, visual guidance is not necessary in order to adopt a softer landing strategy.
Keywords: Adult; Analysis of Variance; Biomechanics; *Cues; Humans; Male; Motor Activity/*physiology; Psychomotor Performance/physiology; Vision, Ocular/*physiology