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When Locomotion Is Used to Interact with the Environment: Investigation of the Link between Emotions and the Twofold Goal-Directed Locomotion in Humans

Abstract : Walking as a means to interact with the environment has a twofold goal: body displacement (intermediate goal) and the future action on the environment (final representational goal). This involves different processes that plan, program, and control goal-directed locomotion linked to motivation as an "emotional state," which leads to achieving this twofold goal. The aim of the present study was to determine whether emotional valence associated with the final representational goal influences these processes or whether they depend more on the emotional valence associated with the intermediate goal in young adults. Twenty subjects, aged 18-35 years, were instructed to erase an emotional picture that appeared on a wall as soon as they saw it. They had to press a stop button located 5 m in front of them with their right hand. Their gait was analyzed using a force platform and the Vicon system. The main results suggest that the emotional valence of the intermediate goal has the greatest effect on the processes that organize and modulate goal-directed locomotion. A positive valence facilitates cognitive processes involved in the temporal organization of locomotion. A negative valence disturbs the cognitive processes involved in the spatial organization of the locomotion and online motor control, leading to a deviating trajectory and a final body position that is more distant from the stop button. These results are discussed in line with the motivational direction hypothesis and with the affective meaning of the intended response goal.
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https://hal-univ-paris10.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01467711
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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 4:18:40 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 9:36:25 AM

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Sylvie Vernazza-Martin, Sophie Longuet, Tarik Damry, Jean-Marc Chamot, Vincent Dru. When Locomotion Is Used to Interact with the Environment: Investigation of the Link between Emotions and the Twofold Goal-Directed Locomotion in Humans. Experimental Brain Research, Springer Verlag, 2015, 233 (10), pp.2913--2924. ⟨10.1007/s00221-015-4361-2⟩. ⟨hal-01467711⟩

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