This study investigated the organization of postural coordination patterns as a function of the rhythmical dynamics of the surface of support. We examined how the number and nature of the dynamical degrees of freedom in the movement coordination patterns changed as a function of the amplitude and frequency of support surface motion. Young adult subjects stood on a moving platform that was translated sinusoidally in anterior-posterior (AP) direction with the task goal to maintain upright bipedal postural balance. A force platform measured the kinetics at the surface of support and a 3D motion analysis system recorded torso and joint kinematics. Principal components analysis (PCA) identified four components overall, but increasing the average velocity of the support surface reduced the modal number of components of the postural coordination pattern from three to two. The analysis of joint motion loadings on the components revealed that organizational properties of the postural pattern also changed as a function of platform dynamics. PC1 (61.6-73.2 %) was accounted for by ankle, knee, and hip motion at the lowest velocity conditions, but as the velocity increased, ankle and hip variance dominated. In PC2 (24.2-20.2 %), the contribution of knee motion significantly increased while that of ankle motion decreased. In PC3 (9.7-5.1 %) neck motion contributed significantly at the highest velocity condition. Collectively, the findings show that the amplitude and frequency of the motion of the surface of support maps redundantly though preferentially to a small set of postural coordination patterns. The higher platform average velocities led to a reduction in the number of dynamical degrees of freedom of the coordination mode and different weightings of joint motion contributions to each component.
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