Lori Vallis

Purposeful action requires the central nervous system to integrate, into ongoing movement patterns, available sensory information about body position in space. Vision is a unique sensory input as it provides this information in advance, for route-planning, and the adjustment of on-going stepping strategies. To date, my research program has focused on strategies used to execute safe movement during adapted locomotor tasks (steering, obstacle circumvention, obstacle stepping) and the role of vision in these tasks.
I am also interested in exploring the impact of cognitive or brain function on locomotor control. The reality is, we routinely perform mental tasks while walking in busy, dynamic environments (e.g. listening to a loudspeaker announcement while walking through a busy shopping mall) and recent research indicates that performing more than one task at a time influences our walking performance. Given the commonness of dual tasking in our daily living, I hope to map patterns of cognitive-locomotor interference for multiple adapted locomotor (e.g. obstacle circumvention) and cognitive activities (e.g. visuo-spatial cognitive tasks) and ascertain optimal training strategies for dual-task performance.

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