Jul 25, 2017

When walking, the brain leads the body by one step

Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin found that our brains are thinking one step ahead as we walk. The study — which tested the ability of 44 participants to hit intermittently illuminated targets along a path — concluded they most accurately hit targets when they saw them 1 to 1.5 steps ahead of where they were.

"You're making a plan, and at the same time you're making that plan, you're making a movement based on the stuff that you saw a second and half in the past," Jonathan Samir Matthis, a researcher, told New Scientist.

Why it matters:

Matthis said a better understanding of how the brain communicates with the body while we walk could inform treatments for Parkinson's Disease or other conditions that affect motor abilities.

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