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J Biomech. 1994 Dec;27(12):1495-9.

Presenting joint kinematics of human locomotion using phase plane portraits and Poincaré maps.

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Mechanical Engineering Department, Southern Methodist University, Dallas TX 75275.


Additional graphical tools are needed to better visualize the joint kinematics of human locomotion. Standard plots in which the joint displacements are plotted against time or percent gait cycle do not provide sufficient information about the dynamics of the system. In this article, a study based on the two graphical tools of nonlinear dynamics to visualize the steady-state kinematics of human gait is presented. An experimental setup was developed to acquire the necessary data for application of the techniques. Twenty young adults, whose medical histories are free of gait pathology, were tested. Computerized electrogoniometers and foot switches were used to measure the kinematic data of the lower extremities and capture four instants of the gait cycle: heel strike, foot flat, heel off, and toe off. Phase plane portraits of each joint were constructed for the sagittal plane by plotting angular velocity against angular displacement. Poincaré maps were obtained by periodically sampling the joint profiles at toe off and plotting the ith iterate against the (i + 1)th one. Phase plane portraits are useful in monitoring the variations of joint velocity and position on the same graph in a more compact form. Poincaré maps are effective in differentiating steady gait from transient locomotion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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