Age-related changes to corticospinal contributions during locomotor adaptation


During activities of daily living, locomotor patterns must be continuously adapted according to changes in our body (e.g., bodily injuries, fatigue) and to the changing environment (e.g., walking surface). Plasticity of spinal networks and supraspinal centers including the cerebellum and cerebral cortex, have been shown to play important roles in human locomotor adaptation.

However, the neural control of locomotion and the ability to adapt locomotor patterns are altered in older adults, which limit activities of daily living and increase fall-related injuries in the elderly population. The purpose of this project is to understand the effects of aging on the of corticospinal drive during locomotor adaptation.

Compensation provided.

Study details

Participants will be asked to participate in a set of locomotor adaptation tasks that rely on proprioception and vision.

Some of these tasks include:

  • Visual acuity using the Snellen Eye Chart
  • Physical assessment using the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB)
  • Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), a questionnaire used to quantify subjective experience of fatigue through a series of 9 questions
  • Electromyography (EMG) to measure muscle activation during walking

The study team will explain these tasks and more with you. 


Inclusion criteria

  • Participants will be 18-80 years of age.
  • All participants must be able to walk without assistance for 10 minutes at a time and have vision corrected to 20/40 or better.

Exclusion criteria
Participants will be screened against:

  • Neurological disorders, seizure disorders, heart disease or myocardial infarction, uncontrolled hypertension, diabetes, meningitis or encephalitis, orthopedic or pain conditions (all queried in pre-screening), impaired vision (pre-screening, in-person vision test), excessive alcohol or caffeine use (pre-screening), and cognitive decline (TICS).
  • Participants will be excluded if they are pregnant or might be pregnant. The goal is to enroll healthy participants without mobility or balance impairments, and within a normal range for circadian and cognitive function.

Additional criteria apply.


To see if you are eligible to participate, please reach out to Sumire Sato:


18 to 65
65 and over



Monetary compensation


Can be done from home



healthy volunteers, walking, older adults

Principal Investigator

Julia Choi, PhD


College of Health and Human Performance

Contact Information


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