Role of point of application of perturbation in control of vertical posture

Bing Chen, Yun Ju Lee, Alexander S. Aruin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The role of point of application of perturbation in the anticipatory (APAs) and compensatory (CPAs) postural control was studied. Twelve healthy participants stood on a sliding board (that was either locked and as such motionless or unlocked and as such free to move in the anterior–posterior direction). The body perturbations were applied either to the shoulders (by a pendulum impact) or the feet (by the movement of the sliding board). Electromyographic activity (EMG) of the trunk and lower extremity muscles was recorded. Latencies, integrals of EMG and muscle co-contraction (C) and reciprocal (R) activation indices were calculated and analyzed within the intervals typical for the APAs and CPAs. Higher EMG integrals were seen in the APAs phase when perturbation was applied to the shoulders. Reciprocal activation of muscles was seen in the APAs phase in the shoulders perturbation condition, while co-contraction was seen in the feet perturbation condition. Co-contraction was observed within the CPA phase in both experimental conditions. Higher C values were found in the feet perturbation condition in the CPA phase. The results suggest that different motor control strategies are employed by the central nervous system when encounter perturbations of similar magnitude but applied to different parts of the body. The outcome highlights the importance of investigation of the role of the point of application of the perturbation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3449-3457
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Anticipatory
  • Compensatory
  • Muscle activation
  • Perturbation
  • Point of application
  • Postural control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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