Foot Movement for Walking Biases the Visual Attention Allocation


Precise walking requires ample cognitive resource to control balance in the single leg stance while head moves periodically in the vertical axis within each stride cycle. Because visual information is a key factor in motor control, we hypothesize that walking alters the allocation of visual attention, thereby affecting the selective intake of visual information. Participants localized a peripheral dot while identifying the central letter in a display during treadmill walking, stepping in place, and standing still. Vertical head movement occurred only in the walking condition. Results show that visual attention was skewed in the single leg stance during walking and stepping in place. Vertical head movement affected the allocation of visual attention because only in the walking condition was attention oriented downward without skewing during the double leg stance. Cognitive resources and head vertical movement appear to work differently in adaptation of visual attention to walking.

Back to Table of Contents