According to recent observations, influence of body load has to be taken into account for the neuronal control of upright stance in addition to the systems known to be involved in this regulation (e.g. afferent input from vestibular canals, visual and muscle stretch receptors). The modulation of compensatory leg muscle electromyographic (EMG) responses observed during horizontal body posture indicates the existence of a receptor system which responds to loading of the body against the supporting platform. This receptor should be located within the extensor muscles because a compensatory EMG response and a loading effect on this response was only present following translational, but not rotational impulses. As the EMG responses were identical to those obtained during upright stance, it is argued that these load receptors activate postural reflexes. According to recent observations in the spinal cat, this afferent input probably arises from Golgi tendon organs and represents a newly discovered function of these receptors in the regulation of stance and gait.