Postural control system

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 1994 Dec;4(6):877-87. doi: 10.1016/0959-4388(94)90137-6.


The postural control system has two main functions: first, to build up posture against gravity and ensure that balance is maintained; and second, to fix the orientation and position of the segments that serve as a reference frame for perception and action with respect to the external world. This dual function of postural control is based on four components: reference values, such as orientation of body segments and position of the center of gravity (an internal representation of the body or postural body scheme); multisensory inputs regulating orientation and stabilization of body segments; and flexible postural reactions or anticipations for balance recovery after disturbance, or postural stabilization during voluntary movement. The recent data related to the organization of this system will be discussed in normal subjects (during ontogenesis), the elderly and in patients with relevant deficits.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Feedback
  • Ganglia, Sensory / physiology
  • Gravity Sensing / physiology
  • Humans
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology