How is the motor learning capacity of a skilled walking task affected after an incomplete spinal cord injury?

Many people who have an incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI) have the potential to improve their ability to walk. Current training strategies are limited in their ability to target skilled walking tasks (e.g. stairs and obstacles).

Sensory function can be affected after iSCI. We believe that this could influence success at re-learning these tasks, because previous studies show that impaired sensory feedback from the leg muscles can influence how the foot moves while walking.

The goal of this work is to investigate how well people with an iSCI can re-learn a new skilled walking task, and to evaluate the impact of impaired sensory function in the lower limbs on this process.

Our findings will shed light on how reduced sensory function affects people re-learning skilled walking tasks after iSCI.