Do We Have A Movement Signature?

Nov 15, 2019 By Krithi S, Writer
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As humans, we have several qualities that distinguish us from one another, such as our fingerprints. Is it possible that we also have unique movement signatures?

According to recent studies, each person has a unique quality in their movement. Depending on the person, these differences can be subtle or pronounced.

This study was conducted by inviting people to take part in a couple of physical activities. For the study, scientists attached electrodes to 8 muscles in the legs of volunteers. The volunteers were then asked to perform activities such as pedaling on stationary bikes (adjusted according to each person’s physical appearance in order to maintain consistency) and walking on treadmills.

Scientists fed the information to a computer along with the volunteer's name so that it could learn the unique patterns of each person. Next, the computer was fed information without the user's name and it could identify the person accurately 99% of the time. The outcomes of the study showed that each of us do indeed have something unique about our general movements.

So, how could this study be of use to scientists? Since this is just a preliminary study, scientists will run more trials of this study to see if the signature changes with age and weight changes. But with a firmer understanding of the science of movement, doctors could potentially develop more intricate prosthetics. Scientists could also program robots to imitate humans’ movements more accurately and perform tasks more deftly. 

Whether that’s cool or creepy is up to you to decide!

Sources: NY Times, Psychology Today, ABCNews