Charles Darwin pointed out that one of the most important implications of the attainment of uprightness was that it freed the hands from locomotion function, so that they became available for sustained use in other directions, such as implementing instrumental activities. Nevertheless, our bodies are still subject to what Arthur Keith called the 'illness of uprightness.' Although the upright posture has been the subject of considerable research, our knowledge about balance, in general, and mechanisms of human posture control, in particular, is still incomplete. In this article, we provide a brief perspective of some key issues in the postural control of humans. We give an emphasis to current research on the role of cortical function, particularly the cerebral cortex in balance control.
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