Effects of body lean and visual information on the equilibrium maintenance during stance

Exp Brain Res. 2002 Sep;146(1):60-9. doi: 10.1007/s00221-002-1154-1. Epub 2002 Jun 27.


Maintenance of equilibrium was tested in conditions when humans assume different leaning postures during upright standing. Subjects ( n=11) stood in 13 different body postures specified by visual center of pressure (COP) targets within their base of support (BOS). Different types of visual information were tested: continuous presentation of visual target, no vision after target presentation, and with simultaneous visual feedback of the COP. The following variables were used to describe the equilibrium maintenance: the mean of the COP position, the area of the ellipse covering the COP sway, and the resultant median frequency of the power spectral density of the COP displacement. The variability of the COP displacement, quantified by the COP area variable, increased when subjects occupied leaning postures, irrespective of the kind of visual information provided. This variability also increased when vision was removed in relation to when vision was present. Without vision, drifts in the COP data were observed which were larger for COP targets farther away from the neutral position. When COP feedback was given in addition to the visual target, the postural control system did not control stance better than in the condition with only visual information. These results indicate that the visual information is used by the postural control system at both short and long time scales.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology*