Shifting the balance: Evidence of an exploratory role for postural sway

Carpenter, M. G., Murnaghan, C. D. and Inglis, J. T. (2010) Shifting the balance: Evidence of an exploratory role for postural sway. Neuroscience, 171 1: 196-204. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.08.030

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Author Carpenter, M. G.
Murnaghan, C. D.
Inglis, J. T.
Title Shifting the balance: Evidence of an exploratory role for postural sway
Journal name Neuroscience   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0306-4522
Publication date 2010-11
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.08.030
Open Access Status
Volume 171
Issue 1
Start page 196
End page 204
Total pages 9
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Humans and other species are unable to stand perfectly still; their bodies continuously sway during stance even during concentrated efforts to avoid such movement. Traditionally, this phenomenon has been viewed as an inability of the central nervous system (CNS) to maintain perfect equilibrium because of its reliance on feedback from sensory signals to control corrective ground-reaction forces. Using a novel method to minimize movements of the body during stance without subject awareness, we have made the unique discovery that ground-reaction forces are generated independent of body sway, as evidenced by observations of increased centre of pressure variability when postural sway is minimized experimentally. Contrary to traditional views, our results suggest that postural sway may be used by the CNS as an exploratory mechanism to ensure that continuous dynamic inputs are provided by multiple sensory systems. This novel paradigm has the potential to significantly shift long-standing views on balance, and questions the theoretical basis behind conventional treatment strategies for balance deficits associated with age and disease.
Keyword Posture
Neural Control
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 33 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 02 Dec 2014, 10:30:28 EST by Sandrine Ducrot on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences