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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 3, 2020

A Matlab toolbox for analyzing repetitive movements: application in gait and tapping experiments

  • Mehmet Eylem Kirlangic EMAIL logo , Safwan Al-Qadhi , Christian Hauptmann and Hans-Joachim Freund


Coordination and timing in repetitive movements have been intensively investigated in diverse experimental settings for understanding the underlying basic mechanisms in healthy controls. On this basic research side, there are mainly two theoretical models: the Wing-Kristofferson (WK) model and the Haken-Kelso-Bunz (HKB) model. On the clinical side of the research, several efforts have been spent on quantitatively assessing gait and other repetitive movements such as tapping, especially as an outcome measure of clinical trials in diverse neurological disorders. Nevertheless, Parkinson’s disease (PD) remains the predominant disorder in the clinical literature in this context, as the tremor activity and the changes in the gait are both common symptoms in PD. Although there are motion recording systems for data acquisition in clinical settings, the tools for analysis and quantification of the extracted time-series offered by these systems are severely restricted. Therefore, we introduce a toolbox which enables the analysis of repetitive movements within the framework of the two main theoretical models of motor coordination, which explicitly focuses on varying clinical and experimental settings such as self-paced vs. cued or uni-manual vs. bi-manual measurements. The toolbox contains particular pipelines for digital signal processing. Licensed under the GNU General Public License (GNU-GPL), the open source toolbox is freely available and can be downloaded from the Github link: We illustrate the application of the toolbox on sample experiments of gait and tapping with a control subject, as well as with a Parkinson’s patient. The patient has gone through a brain surgery for deep brain stimulation (DBS); hence, we present the results for both stimulation ON and stimulation OFF modes. Sample data are freely accessible at:


We would like to thank to Prof. Dr. Dr. A. Peter Tass for the invaluable discussions on synchronization analysis. We also thank to Thomas Barnikol, Dr. Utako Barnikol, Heidi Mellenthin, Andrea Muren, Veronika Kriebel, Irene Werner and Natalie Schlothauer for their support in the clinical work and measurements with the subjects.

  1. Research funding: Authors state no funding involved.

  2. Conflict of interest: Authors state no conflict of interest.

  3. Informed consent: All measurement protocols have been institutionally approved by the University Clinic Cologne and informed consent has been obtained.

  4. Ethical approval: All measurement protocols have been institutionally approved by the Ethics Commitee of the University Clinic Cologne.


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Received: 2018-09-27
Accepted: 2019-10-07
Published Online: 2020-02-03
Published in Print: 2020-08-27

©2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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