Normal and Abnormal Development of Posture Control in Children

  • Marjorie H. Woollacott
Conference paper


The development of balance control in children is approached from a systems perspective in which balance is seen as an emergent skill, with critical neural or musculoskeletal components identified as rate-limiting and thus pushing the system to a new control level when these components mature. The emergence of postural control is characterized by the development of rules which relate sensory inputs reporting the body’s position in space to motor actions which control the body’s position. Adaptive capabilities, which allow the child to modify sensory and motor strategies to changing task and environmental conditions, appear to develop later. Children with developmental delays and dysfunctions, such as Down syndrome and cerebral palsy, show delayed development of postural responses and additional problems associated with muscle response timing, organization (including onset latency delays), and sensory organization capabilities. Each disorder shows a specific constellation of motor problems.


Cerebral Palsy Down Syndrome Postural Control Postural Response Balance Control 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 1994

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  • Marjorie H. Woollacott

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