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Sounding better: fast audio cues increase walk speed in treadmill-mediated virtual rehabilitation environments.

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School of Creative Technologies, University of Portsmouth, UK.


Music or sound effects are often used to enhance Virtual Environments, but it is not known how this audio may influence gait speed. This study investigated the influence of audio cue tempo on treadmill walking with and without visual flow. The walking speeds of 11 individuals were recorded during exposure to a range of audio cue rates. There was a significant effect of audio tempo without visual flow, with a 16% increase in walk speed with faster audio cue tempos. Audio with visual flow resulted in a smaller but still significant increase in walking speed (8%). The results suggest that the inclusion of faster rate audio cues may be of benefit in improving walk speed in virtual rehabilitation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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