|Budget Amount *help
¥2,900,000 (Direct Cost : ¥2,900,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥800,000 (Direct Cost : ¥800,000)
Fiscal Year 1997 : ¥2,100,000 (Direct Cost : ¥2,100,000)
Subjects observed the walkers whose gaits were depicted in point-light displays. LED-lights were affixed to the backs of the walkers (four men and four women aged 18 to 62) at their eight major joints (shoulders, hips, knees and heels). The walkers were videotaped as they walked on a treadmill at a speed of 1.0 to 3.0 Km/h. Their gaits, depicted in point-light walkers (PLWs), were projected on a screen and subjects made judgments about the sex and the age of them.
The results, obtained from 400 undergraduates of 206 female and 194 male ones, revealed that, (1), on an average, there was 72% correct identification of the genders and the PLWs of older walkers were 85% or more correctly identified, (2) on the assumption that a male-gait informed us a man-signal and a female-gait no man-signal (or noise signal), signal detection theory was applied to the results and found that the detectability (d') of man-signal was larger in female observers (0.74) than in male ones (0.69), while that of woman-signal was larger in male observers (0.78) than in female ones (0.72), (3) the PLWs of old walkers were presumed to be twenty years or so younger and a kind of rhythmic motion-pattern produced by the movements of both shoulder and heel made the PLWs of younger walkers looked older in age.
These findings lead to the suggestion that sex- and age-related properties of gait-signal displayed by PLWs are given by the three kinds of perceptual processes ; rhythmic motion-pattern set up by shoulder and heel movements which is typical of the walker, spatial arrangement of point-lights which forms the PLW, and detectability of gait-signal which characterizes the observers behaviour.