Performance of a visuomotor walking task in an augmented reality training setting

Juliet A.M. Haarman*, Julia T. Choi, Jaap H. Buurke, Johan S. Rietman, Jasper Reenalda

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Visual cues can be used to train walking patterns. Here, we studied the performance and learning capacities of healthy subjects executing a high-precision visuomotor walking task, in an augmented reality training set-up. A beamer was used to project visual stepping targets on the walking surface of an instrumented treadmill. Two speeds were used to manipulate task difficulty. All participants (n = 20) had to change their step length to hit visual stepping targets with a specific part of their foot, while walking on a treadmill over seven consecutive training blocks, each block composed of 100 stepping targets. Distance between stepping targets was varied between short, medium and long steps. Training blocks could either be composed of random stepping targets (no fixed sequence was present in the distance between the stepping targets) or sequenced stepping targets (repeating fixed sequence was present). Random training blocks were used to measure non-specific learning and sequenced training blocks were used to measure sequence-specific learning. Primary outcome measures were performance (% of correct hits), and learning effects (increase in performance over the training blocks: both sequence-specific and non-specific). Secondary outcome measures were the performance and stepping-error in relation to the step length (distance between stepping target). Subjects were able to score 76% and 54% at first try for lower speed (2.3 km/h) and higher speed (3.3 km/h) trials, respectively. Performance scores did not increase over the course of the trials, nor did the subjects show the ability to learn a sequenced walking task. Subjects were better able to hit targets while increasing their step length, compared to shortening it. In conclusion, augmented reality training by use of the current set-up was intuitive for the user. Suboptimal feedback presentation might have limited the learning effects of the subjects.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)11-19
    Number of pages9
    JournalHuman movement science
    Volume56
    Issue numberPart B
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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    Keywords

    • Augmented reality
    • Gait training
    • Locomotion learning
    • Sequence learning
    • Visual feedback
    • Visual stepping targets

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