Statistical parametric mapping of the regional distribution and ontogenetic scaling of foot pressures during walking in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus)

Panagiotopoulou, Olga, Pataky, Todd C., Hill, Zoe and Hutchinson, John R. (2012) Statistical parametric mapping of the regional distribution and ontogenetic scaling of foot pressures during walking in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Journal of Experimental Biology, 215 9: 1584-1593. doi:10.1242/jeb.065862

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Author Panagiotopoulou, Olga
Pataky, Todd C.
Hill, Zoe
Hutchinson, John R.
Title Statistical parametric mapping of the regional distribution and ontogenetic scaling of foot pressures during walking in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus)
Journal name Journal of Experimental Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0949
1477-9145
Publication date 2012-05-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1242/jeb.065862
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 215
Issue 9
Start page 1584
End page 1593
Total pages 10
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Foot pressure distributions during locomotion have causal links with the anatomical and structural configurations of the foot tissues and the mechanics of locomotion. Elephant feet have five toes bound in a flexible pad of fibrous tissue (digital cushion). Does this specialized foot design control peak foot pressures in such giant animals? And how does body size, such as during ontogenetic growth, influence foot pressures? We addressed these questions by studying foot pressure distributions in elephant feet and their correlation with body mass and centre of pressure trajectories, using statistical parametric mapping (SPM), a neuro-imaging technology. Our results show a positive correlation between body mass and peak pressures, with the highest pressures dominated by the distal ends of the lateral toes (digits 3, 4 and 5). We also demonstrate that pressure reduction in the elephant digital cushion is a complex interaction of its viscoelastic tissue structure and its centre of pressure trajectories, because there is a tendency to avoid rear ‘heel’ contact as an elephant grows. Using SPM, we present a complete map of pressure distributions in elephant feet during ontogeny by performing statistical analysis at the pixel level across the entire plantar/palmar surface. We hope that our study will build confidence in the potential clinical and scaling applications of mammalian foot pressures, given our findings in support of a link between regional peak pressures and pathogenesis in elephant feet. 
Keyword Plantar pressure
Locomotion
Elephant
Statistical parametric mapping
Random field theory
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 9 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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