Anat Mirelman, Shirley Shema, Inbal Maidan, Jeffery M. Hausdorff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Gait is one of the keys to functional independence. For a long-time, walking was considered an automatic process involving minimal higher-level cognitive input. Indeed, walking does not take place without muscles that move the limbs and the “lower-level” control that regulates the timely activation of the muscles. However, a growing body of literature suggests that walking can be viewed as a cognitive process that requires “higher-level” cognitive control, especially during challenging walking conditions that require executive function and attention. Two main locomotor pathways have been identified involving multiple brain areas for the control of posture and gait: the dorsal pathway of cognitive locomotor control and the ventral pathway for emotional locomotor control. These pathways may be distinctly affected in different pathologies that have important implications for rehabilitation and therapy. The clinical assessment of gait should be a focused, simple, and cost-effective process that provides both quantifiable and qualitative information on performance. In the last two decades, gait analysis has gradually shifted from analysis of a few steps in a restricted space to long-term monitoring of gait using body fixed sensors, capturing real-life and routine behavior in the home and community environment. The chapter also describes this evolution and its implications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Clinical Neurology
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Publication series

NameHandbook of Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)0072-9752
ISSN (Electronic)2212-4152


  • brain pathways
  • cognition
  • executive function
  • gait
  • gait analysis
  • locomotion
  • posture
  • spatiotemporal measurements


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