Sensory Contributions to the Control of Stance

A posture control model
  • Thomas Mergner
  • Christoph Maurer
  • Robert J. Peterka
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 508)


We present the outline of a dual kinetic-kinematic postural control model. It is based on concepts of inter-sensory interaction (sensor fusion) which we consider instrumental for sensorimotor integration. Separation into kinetic and kinematic control signals begins at the level of the sensors (e.g., vestibular system - otoliths: force field meters, canals: head angular speedometers). Sensor fusion mechanisms are used to yield separate internal representations for foot support kinematics, force fields such as gravity, and contact forces such as pull or push having impact on the body. These representations are fed as global set point signals into local proprioceptive control loops of the joints. Fed into an ankle joint proprioceptive loop for body-onsupport stabilization, they yield compensation of support tilt, gravity and contact forces, even when these stimuli are combined and, furthermore, voluntary lean is superimposed. Model simulations parallel our experimental findings so far obtained.


Motor Unit Ground Reaction Force Upright Stance Plateau Current Ankle Proprioception 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Mergner
    • 1
  • Christoph Maurer
    • 1
  • Robert J. Peterka
    • 2
  1. 1.Neurological University ClinicNeurological University ClinicFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Neurological Sciences InstituteOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA

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