Thinking on your feet: Anticipatory foot placements in repeated bimanual object displacements

Aviad Ozana*, F. Hermens, Ruud Meulenbroek, David A Rosenbaum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Effective handling of objects requires proper use of the hands. If the object handling is done while standing or walking, it also requires proper use of the feet. We asked how people position their feet to meet future and ongoing object-handling demands. In previous research on this topic, participants walked to a table and picked up an object for a single displacement from one place to another. These studies shed light on sensitivity to kinematics but, strictly speaking, may not have revealed anything about sensitivity to dynamics. In the present study, we asked participants to walk to a table to move an object back and forth over different distances and at different rates. Prior to walking to the table, participants had full knowledge of what the task would be. By using a rhythmic rather than discrete object placement task, we could analyze participants' sensitivity to dynamics as well as kinematics. Consistent with our expectation that participants would tune their foot separations to demands related to dynamics, we found that stance width was wider for long than for short object displacements and was more pronounced for high displacement rates than for low displacement rates. Also consistent with our expectations about planning, these effects were evident as soon as participants reached the table. Our results add to the limited research on coordinated action of the hands and feet in purposeful object manipulation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104089
Number of pages9
JournalActa Psychologica
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


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