Auditory cue based on the golden ratio can improve gait patterns in people with parkinson’s disease

Valeria Belluscio, Marco Iosa, Giuseppe Vannozzi, Stefano Paravati, Antonella Peppe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The harmonic structure of walking relies on an irrational number called the golden ratio (φ): in healthy subjects, it coincides with the stride-to-stance ratio, and it is associated with a smooth gait modality. This smoothness is lost in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), due to deficiencies in the execution of movements. However, external auditory cues seem to facilitate movement, by enabling the timing of muscle activation, and helping in initiating and modulating motor output. Based on a harmonic fractal structure of gait, can the administration of an auditory cue based on individual’s φ-rhythm improve, in acute, gait patterns in people with PD? A total of 20 participants (16 males, age 70.9 ± 8.4 years, Hoehn and Yahr stage-II) were assessed through stereophotogrammetry: gait spatio-temporal parameters, and stride-to-stance ratio were computed before, during, and after the φ-rhythm administration. Results show improvements in terms of stride length (p = 0.018), walking speed (p = 0.014), and toe clearance (p = 0.013) when comparing gait patterns before and after the stimulus. Furthermore, the stride-to-stance ratio seems to correlate with almost all spatio-temporal parameters, but it shows the main changes in the before–during rhythm comparison. In conclusion, φ-rhythm seems an effective cue able to compensate for defective internal rhythm of the basal ganglia in PD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number911
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2021


  • External rhythm
  • Fractal
  • Gait analysis
  • Internal rhythm
  • Locomotion
  • Motor adaptation
  • Physiological rhythm
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Auditory cue based on the golden ratio can improve gait patterns in people with parkinson’s disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this