A Dual-Learning Paradigm Simultaneously Improves Multiple Features of Gait Post-Stroke

Kendra M. Cherry-Allen, Matthew A. Statton, Pablo A. Celnik, Amy J. Bastian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background. Gait impairments after stroke arise from dysfunction of one or several features of the walking pattern. Traditional rehabilitation practice focuses on improving one component at a time, which may leave certain features unaddressed or prolong rehabilitation time. Recent work shows that neurologically intact adults can learn multiple movement components simultaneously. Objective. To determine whether a dual-learning paradigm, incorporating 2 distinct motor tasks, can simultaneously improve 2 impaired components of the gait pattern in people posttroke. Methods. Twelve individuals with stroke participated. Participants completed 2 sessions during which they received visual feedback reflecting paretic knee flexion during walking. During the learning phase of the experiment, an unseen offset was applied to this feedback, promoting increased paretic knee flexion. During the first session, this task was performed while walking on a split-belt treadmill intended to improve step length asymmetry. During the second session, it was performed during tied-belt walking. Results. The dual-learning task simultaneously increased paretic knee flexion and decreased step length asymmetry in the majority of people post-stroke. Split-belt treadmill walking did not significantly interfere with joint-angle learning: participants had similar rates and magnitudes of joint-angle learning during both single and dual-learning conditions. Participants also had significant changes in the amount of paretic hip flexion in both single and dual-learning conditions. Conclusions. People with stroke can perform a dual-learning paradigm and change 2 clinically relevant gait impairments in a single session. Long-term studies are needed to determine if this strategy can be used to efficiently and permanently alter multiple gait impairments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)810-820
Number of pages11
JournalNeurorehabilitation and neural repair
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • dual-learning
  • gait rehabilitation
  • motor learning
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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