, Volume 217, Issue 2, pp 197-208
Date: 25 Dec 2011

Postural control in response to an external perturbation: effect of altered proprioceptive information

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The purpose of the study was to investigate the role of altered proprioception on anticipatory (APAs) and compensatory (CPAs) postural adjustments and their interaction. Nine healthy adults were exposed to external perturbations induced at the shoulder level while standing with intact or altered proprioception induced by bilateral Achilles tendon vibration. Visual information was altered (eyes open or closed) in both the conditions. Electrical activity of eight trunk and leg muscles and center of pressure (COP) displacements were recorded and quantified within the time intervals typical for APAs and CPAs. The results showed that when proprioceptive information was altered in eyes-open conditions, anticipatory muscle activity was delayed. Moreover, altered proprioceptive information resulted in smaller magnitudes of compensatory muscle activity as well as smaller COP displacements after the perturbation in both eyes-open and eyes-closed conditions. The outcome of the study provides information on the interaction between APAs and CPAs in the presence of altered proprioception.