Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 195, Issue 3, pp 361–369 | Cite as

Effect of reduced cutaneous cues on motion perception and postural control

  • Yongwoo Yi
  • Sukyung Park
Research Article


To investigate whether the sensory perception could be a more direct assessment of sensory deficit as oppose to the postural performance, we examined the effect of reduced cutaneous cues on motion perception and motion control. The subject was translated in a mediolateral direction with a single sinusoidal acceleration at a stimulus frequency of 0.25 Hz with a peak acceleration magnitude ranging from 0.25 to 8 mG in the dark. Two different plantar cutaneous conditions were provided: the control condition (barefoot) and the reduced cutaneous condition (foot on a spongy surface). For each foot-sole sensory condition, the subject completed six sets of 33 randomly ordered translation stimuli. After each translational stimulus, the subject reported their perceived direction of motion by pressing a hand-held button. The center of pressure (COP) and joint kinematics of the quiet stance were also measured. The results showed a significant increase in perception threshold as well as COP variation in the anteroposterior direction in the reduced cutaneous cue trials. However, a non-significant increase in COP in the mediolateral direction was shown. Multivariate covariance analysis of joint kinematics showed changes in postural coordination, such as increased reliance on hip strategy under reduced cutaneous cues condition, that have not been differentiated by univariate measures. The observed discrepancy in the significance of the contribution of plantar cutaneous cues to the detection threshold and the COP variation implies that the ‘perception’ could provide more direct and sensitive assessment of the sensory degradation than the ‘action’.


Plantar cutaneous cues Sensory deficit Somatosensation Motion perception Center of pressure Postural control 



This work was supported by the second stage of the Brain Korea 21 Project and a Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) grant funded by the Korean government (MEST) (No. R01-2007-000-20529-0).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringKAISTYuseong-gu, DaejeonRepublic of Korea

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