The present paper focuses on the organization of posture and movement under normal and microgravity conditions. Two reference values subserving the control of erect posture and the performance of movements are analyzed. The first is 'geometrical' in nature and corresponds to the orientation of a body segment with respect to the external world. The second reference value, which involves the mass and inertia of the body segments, is the position of the centre of mass with respect to the foot support area. The reorganization of these parameters which occurs under microgravity is discussed in the framework of a hierarchical model of posture. Suggestions are made for training procedures which could be used to prevent loss of balance from occurring in astronauts on landing after long space flights.
Copyright 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.