Vision across the gait cycle

Graduate student Brian Szekely

Event Date

Thursday, January 18th, 2024 – 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Graduate student Brian Szekely


Christian Sinnott


Walking, a fundamental human activity, presents challenges to visual stability due to motion blur induced by eye movements. The goal of my research is to elucidate the intricate relationship between locomotion, visual function, and oculomotor behavior. These physiological processes, coupled with neural oscillations arising from the periodic nature of walking, may influence visual function. To assess the impact of these behavioral and physiological aspects across the gait cycle, I use various psychophysical techniques, including binocular rivalry and contrast sensitivity, to discern differences in visual processes. With the use of virtual reality, optical tracking systems, and eye tracker technology, I investigate these visual functions at different locomotor phases: heel strike, single stance, double stance, and toe-off. Additionally, I am actively developing saccadic detection techniques specific to natural locomotion. Current saccadic techniques, designed for stationary behavior, exhibit poor performance during unconstrained head and body movements typical during natural walking. These comprehensive investigations aim to provide valuable insights into the interplay between locomotion and visual-motor processes. The findings may offer implications for understanding how the human nervous system adapts to maintain stable vision during walking. Moreover, this research could inform future studies in fields such as rehabilitation and applications in virtual reality.

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