A multisensory integration model of human stance control
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A model is presented to study and quantify the contribution of all available sensory information to human standing based on optimal estimation theory. In the model, delayed sensory information is integrated in such a way that a best estimate of body orientation is obtained. The model approach agrees with the present theory of the goal of human balance control. The model is not based on purely inverted pendulum body dynamics, but rather on a three-link segment model of a standing human on a movable support base. In addition, the model is non-linear and explicitly addresses the problem of multisensory integration and neural time delays. A predictive element is included in the controller to compensate for time delays, necessary to maintain erect body orientation. Model results of sensory perturbations on total body sway closely resemble experimental results. Despite internal and external perturbations, the controller is able to stabilise the model of an inherently unstable standing human with neural time delays of 100 ms. It is concluded, that the model is capable of studying and quantifying multisensory integration in human stance control. We aim to apply the model in (1) the design and development of prostheses and orthoses and (2) the diagnosis of neurological balance disorders.
KeywordsSensory Information Present Theory External Perturbation Inverted Pendulum Balance Control
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