Analysis of the Effect of Cognitive Load on Gait with off-the-shelf Accelerometers

Eladio Martin, Ruzena Bajcsy
Recent research has shown that cognitive load has an effect on gait, especially noticeable in people with neurodegenerative disorders. Sophisticated and expensive systems are commonly used to measure the variability of gait parameters under different cognitive loads. In this paper, we propose the use of smart phones and off-the-shelf wireless accelerometers to study the influence of cognitive load on gait. Making use of this new approach, we measure the effect of common "working memory" or
more » ... ing memory" or "motor" tasks on gait. We also analyze the effect on gait variability derived from imposing a speed while walking in a treadmill. Our results show that current state-of-the-art smart phones and off-the-shelf accelerometers can be successfully used to analyze the effect of cognitive load on gait.