Postural preparation to making a step: Is there a "motor program" for postural preparation?

Adriana M. Degani, Alessander Danna-Dos-Santos, Mark L. Latash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that a sequence of mechanical events occurs preceding a step that scales in time and magnitude as a whole in a task-specific manner, and is a reflection of a "motor program." Young subjects made a step under three speed instructions and four tasks: stepping straight ahead, down a stair, up a stair, and over an obstacle. Larger center-of-pressure (COP) and force adjustments in the anterior-posterior direction and smaller COP and force adjustments in the mediolateral direction were seen during stepping forward and down a stair, as compared with the tasks of stepping up a stair and over an obstacle. These differences were accentuated during stepping under the simple reaction time instruction. These results speak against the hypothesis of a single motor program that would underlie postural preparation to stepping. They are more compatible with the reference configuration hypothesis of whole-body actions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-274
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of applied biomechanics
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation

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