Development of a kinematic coordination pattern in toddler locomotion: Planar covariation

Guy Cheron, Ethel Bouillot, Bernard Dan, Ana Bengoetxea, Jean Philippe Draye, Francesco Lacquaniti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study is to analyze the coordination patterns of the elevation angles of lower limb segments following the onset of unsupported walking in children and to look for the existence of a planar covariation rule as previously described in adult human locomotion. The kinematic patterns of locomotion were recorded in 21 children (11-144 months of age) and 19 adults. In 4 children we monitored the very first unsupported steps. The extent to which the covariation of thigh, shank, and foot angles was constrained on a plane in 3D space was assessed by means of orthogonal regression and statistically quantified by means of principal component analysis. The orientation of the covariation plane of the children was compared with the mean value of the adults' plane. Trunk stability with respect to the vertical was assessed in both the frontal (roll) and sagittal (pitch) planes. The evolution with walking experience of the plane orientation and trunk oscillations demonstrated biexponential profiles with a relatively fast time constant (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-466
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Children
  • Coordination
  • Kinematics
  • Locomotion
  • Toddlers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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