Posture, dynamic stability, and voluntary movement.

UFR-STAPS, université Paris-Sud-11, rue Langevin, 91405 Orsay, France.
Neurophysiologie Clinique/Clinical Neurophysiology (Impact Factor: 2.55). 01/2009; 38(6):345-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.neucli.2008.10.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This paper addresses the question of why voluntary movement, which induces a perturbation to balance, is possible without falling down. It proceeds from a joint biomechanical and physiological approach, and consists of three parts. The first one introduces some basic concepts that constitute a theoretical framework for experimental studies. The second part considers the various categories of "postural adjustments" (PAs) and presents major data on "anticipatory postural adjustments" (APA). The last part explores the concept of "posturokinetic capacity" (PKC) and its possible applications.

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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the effects of focal muscle fatigue induced by electromyostimulation (EMS) on Anticipatory Postural Adjustments (APAs) during arm flexions performed at maximal velocity.Methods Fifteen healthy subjects performed self-paced arm flexions at maximal velocity before and after the completion of fatiguing electromyostimulation programs involving the medial and anterior deltoids and aiming to degrade movement peak acceleration. APA timing and magnitude were measured using surface electromyography.ResultsFollowing muscle fatigue, despite a lower mechanical disturbance evidenced by significant decreased peak accelerations (-12%, p < .001), APAs remained unchanged as compared to control trials (p > .11 for all analyses).Conclusion The fatigue signals evoked by externally-generated contractions seem to be gated by the Central Nervous System and result in postural strategy changes which aim to increase the postural safety margin.SignificanceEMS is widely used in rehabilitation and training programs for its neuromuscular function-related benefits. However and from a motor control viewpoint, the present results show that the use of EMS can lead to acute inaccuracies in predictive motor control. We propose that clinicians should investigate the chronic and global effects of EMS on motor control.
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    ABSTRACT: Different species maintain a particular body orientation in space due to activity of the closed-loop postural control system. In this review we discuss the role of neurons of descending pathways in operation of this system as revealed in animal models of differing complexity: lower vertebrate (lamprey) and higher vertebrates (rabbit and cat). In the lamprey and quadruped mammals, the role of spinal and supraspinal mechanisms in the control of posture is different. In the lamprey, the system contains one closed-loop mechanism consisting of supraspino-spinal networks. Reticulospinal (RS) neurons play a key role in generation of postural corrections. Due to vestibular input, any deviation from the stabilized body orientation leads to activation of a specific population of RS neurons. Each of the neurons activates a specific motor synergy. Collectively, these neurons evoke the motor output necessary for the postural correction. In contrast to lampreys, postural corrections in quadrupeds are primarily based not on the vestibular input but on the somatosensory input from limb mechanoreceptors. The system contains two closed-loop mechanisms - spinal and spino-supraspinal networks, which supplement each other. Spinal networks receive somatosensory input from the limb signaling postural perturbations, and generate spinal postural limb reflexes. These reflexes are relatively weak, but in intact animals they are enhanced due to both tonic supraspinal drive and phasic supraspinal commands. Recent studies of these supraspinal influences are considered in this review. A hypothesis suggesting common principles of operation of the postural systems stabilizing body orientation in a particular plane in the lamprey and quadrupeds, that is interaction of antagonistic postural reflexes, is discussed.
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    ABSTRACT: The goal of this research was to study the postural adjustments that occur during the course of a voluntary movement (Simultaneous Postural Adjustments: SPA). A pointing task performed at maximal velocity was considered and upper limb kinematics and body kinetics were recorded. A 2-DOF model was elaborated that distinguishes between the body segments that are mobilized in order to perform the pointing movement. These segments are the right upper limb (termed the “focal” component) and the rest of the body (termed the “postural” component). This model allowed for the calculation of both sub-systems’ kinetics and a comparison of the resultant reaction (RoSh) with the corresponding action (AoSh) at the shoulder level. The analysis was based on the ellipsoidal shape of their relationship. The ellipse computation (“Lissajous ellipse”) allowed the time lag to be estimated. The results showed that the kinetics of the postural component preceded that of the focal ones and that the time lag during the SPA was not statistically different from the APA duration (dAPA). In addition, the kinetics of the postural component were found to be opposed to the perturbation induced by the pointing movement, but only during part of the SPA time interval. It was concluded that the postural component plays a dual role during the movement, which consists of postural stabilization and propulsive action, with one prevailing over the other depending on the time-instant of movement evolution. This new evidence in healthy subjects is helpful to further specify differences associated with motor impairments.
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