Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 187, Issue 2, pp 255–265 | Cite as

Effect of aging on the coordination between equilibrium and movement: what changes?

  • S. Vernazza-MartinEmail author
  • V. Tricon
  • N. Martin
  • S. Mesure
  • J. P. Azulay
  • A. Le Pellec-Muller
Research Article


This investigation studies the effect of aging on the coordination between equilibrium and trunk movement. Eight young adults and seven adults at the end of middle age bent their trunk forward and stabilized their position. The center of mass shift was studied as an indicator of equilibrium control as was the electromyographic pattern of the main muscles involved in the movement. The kinematic strategy responsible for both the movement and equilibrium control was quantified by performing a principal components analysis on the hip, knee, ankle angle changes occurring during the movement. We observed that the effect of aging can be detected early. It is not expressed as a deterioration of equilibrium control but rather as “over control”. The kinematic strategy is modified, the central command adapted. These results could express the onset of a lesser ability to simplify the coordination between equilibrium and movement as young adults leading to its deterioration in the elderly.


Aging Equilibrium control Movement Strategy Central command Adaptation 



The authors express their thanks to Kim De Haan for revising the English in this article. Disclosure Statement: authors disclose no current or potential conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Vernazza-Martin
    • 1
    Email author
  • V. Tricon
    • 1
  • N. Martin
    • 2
  • S. Mesure
    • 3
  • J. P. Azulay
    • 4
  • A. Le Pellec-Muller
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire Sport et Culture EA2931UFR STAPS Paris X NanterreNanterreFrance
  2. 2.Locéan UMR 7617, Université Pierre et Marie CurieParis Cedex 05France
  3. 3.Laboratoire Mouvement et Perception P2MFaculté des Sciences du Mouvement de LumignyMarseille Cedex 9France
  4. 4.Laboratoire INPC, CNRSMarseilleFrance

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