TITLE: Locomotor adaptation is modulated by observing the actions of others.
PUBLICATION: Journal of Neurophysiology
DATE: Sep 2015
AUTHORS : Patel M, Roberts RE, Riyaz MU, Ahmed M, Buckwell D, Bunday K, Ahmad H, Kaski D, Arshad Q, Bronstein AM
Locomotor aftereffect (LAE): When we ambulate through the world our brain stores up a cache of “movement memory” created from our previous experience as well as from observing the movement of others. This storage of movement patterns first helps us to be as efficient as possible while moving around. Secondly it helps in being prepared physically for a possibly hazardous environment. When we encounter say an escalator or moving sidewalk, previously the movement experience with the escalator was filed away so we can call upon the movement strategy that we used before, not having to figure it out from scratch and keeps us from toppling over when we go on the moving surface. Studies have shown when people walk onto an escalator and it’s not moving, our body still reacts as if there is going to be movement. We automatically go to the stored movement in our brains and anticipate a moving surface making us do a bit of a shimmy before we realize that the escalator is not moving. This effect has been termed the “broken escalator paradigm”, or locomotor aftereffect (LAE).