Document Detail

Interlimb coordination in human crawling reveals similarities in development and neural control with quadrupeds.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19036860     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The study of quadrupeds has furnished most of our understanding of mammalian locomotion. To allow a more direct comparison of coordination between the four limbs in humans and quadrupeds, we studied crawling in the human, a behavior that is part of normal human development and mechanically more similar to quadrupedal locomotion than is bipedal walking. Interlimb coordination during hands-and-knees crawling is compared between humans and quadrupeds and between human infants and adults. Mechanical factors were manipulated during crawling to understand the relative contributions of mechanics and neural control. Twenty-six infants and seven adults were studied. Video, force plate, and electrogoniometer data were collected. Belt speed of the treadmill, width of base, and limb length were manipulated in adults. Influences of unweighting and limb length were explored in infants. Infants tended to move diagonal limbs together (trot-like). Adults additionally moved ipsilateral limbs together (pace-like). At lower speeds, movements of the four limbs were more equally spaced in time, with no clear pairing of limbs. At higher speeds, running symmetrical gaits were never observed, although one adult galloped. Widening stance prevented adults from using the pace-like gait, whereas lengthening the hind limbs (hands-and-feet crawling) largely prevented the trot-like gait. Limb length and unweighting had no effect on coordination in infants. We conclude that human crawling shares features both with other primates and with nonprimate quadrupeds, suggesting similar underlying mechanisms. The greater restriction in coordination patterns used by infants suggests their nervous system has less flexibility.
Susan K Patrick; J Adam Noah; Jaynie F Yang
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-11-26
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of neurophysiology     Volume:  101     ISSN:  0022-3077     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurophysiol.     Publication Date:  2009 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-02-06     Completed Date:  2009-03-26     Revised Date:  2013-06-04    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375404     Medline TA:  J Neurophysiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  603-13     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Physical Therapy, 2-50 Corbett Hall, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2G4.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Analysis of Variance
Exercise Test / methods
Extremities / physiology*
Functional Laterality / physiology*
Gait / physiology
Locomotion / physiology*
Models, Biological
Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
Young Adult

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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