We explored changes in the postural preparation to stepping introduced by modifications of the initial coordinates of the center of pressure (COP). We hypothesized that the postural adjustments in the anterior-posterior direction would persist across all initial COP manipulations while the adjustments in the medio-lateral direction would be highly sensitive to the initial COP coordinate. Healthy subjects stood on a force plate, shifted the body weight to one of the initial conditions that spanned the range of COP coordinates in both directions, and initiated a single step or started to walk. No major changes were observed between the stepping and walking conditions. Changes in the initial COP coordinate in the medio-lateral direction led to scaling of the magnitude of the COP shift in that direction prior to stepping accompanied by a nearly proportional change in the COP shift in the anterior-posterior direction. Changes in the initial COP coordinate in the anterior-posterior direction led to scaling of the magnitude of the COP shift in that direction prior to stepping without consistent changes in the COP shift in the medio-lateral direction. We interpret the results as reflecting a neural organization using a small set of referent body configurations for the postural adjustments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Physiology (medical)