Characteristics of the maintenance of the upright posture in subjects touching an external object while standing on a moving or immobile platform
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Postural sway was compared for humans touching an external object while standing on an immobile or slowly moving posturographic platform. When the platform moves, the central nervous system may interpret the movement of the point of the contact with the external object as the movement of the body relative to the support or as the movement of the support itself. Thus, the information concerning the body position that is provided by the touch becomes ambiguous. It was demonstrated that contact with an external object during standing on an unstable support leads to a decrease in support sway. When a subject stands on a moving platform, this decrease is smaller than in the case of an immobile platform. Contact with an external object causes a decrease in postural responses to shank muscle vibrations on an immobile platform. On a moving platform, this decrease is nonsignificant. The change in postural sway depending on the unambiguity of afferent information is discussed in terms of the interaction between afferent signals of different modalities on the basis of the body scheme in subjects maintaining balance.
KeywordsNervous System Central Nervous System Human Physiology Body Position Upright Posture
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