Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
Print version ISSN 0102-7972
MAUERBERG-DECASTRO, Eliane and MORAES, Renato. Distance perception in children while walking. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2002, vol.15, n.2, pp. 373-381. ISSN 0102-7972. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-79722002000200014.
The purpose of this study was to investigate children's distance perception while walking blindfolded. Also, in order to measure differences at various distances, biomechanical parameters were assessed. Seven children, aged 6 (CG), and 10 adults (AG) were asked to walk to previously seen targets placed at different distances. Exponent and biomechanical parameters (i.e., stride duration, stride proportion, and stride velocity) were calculated for each group. The CG and AG exhibited similarities in biomechanical parameters, which for both groups changed with the length of the distance. We concluded that both children and adults used similar strategies to accomplish the distance perception task; that locomotion at short distances requires adaptations in gait patterns; and that children have a high capacity to adjust their behavior to unusual tasks (e.g., blindfolded locomotion).
Keywords : Psychophysics; biomechanics; distance perception; locomotion; developmental perception.