Your walk­ing brain

Ever won­dered why you don’t trip

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - The View -

up more of­ten on un­even ter­rain? Sci­en­tists in the USA have dis­cov­ered that our brains are al­ways one step ahead of our bod­ies as we walk.

The team from the Univer­sity of Texas asked 44 walk­ers to step on il­lu­mi­nated tar­gets tem­po­rar­ily vis­i­ble on a flat route. The par­tic­i­pants’ ac­cu­racy in hit­ting the tar­get was at its high­est when they saw it be­tween 1 and 1 ½ steps ahead.

It is be­lieved this abil­ity evolved when our early an­ces­tors needed to ne­go­ti­ate rough ter­rain, find food and avoid preda­tors. And it’s a handy skill for mod­ern walk­ers who want to avoid trip­ping over tree roots.

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