Effects of visual and cognitive interference on joint contributions in perturbed standing: a temporal and spectral analysis

  • Mohammed N. AshtianiEmail author
  • Mahmood-reza Azghani
Scientific Paper


Postural balance requires using joint strategies which may be changed from normal conditions by interfering with the sensory information. The goal of the present study was to quantitatively evaluate the role of the joint mechanisms during perturbed stance. Visual and cognitive interference was imposed to sixteen healthy young males under rotational toes-down or up perturbations. Power spectral analysis was employed to distinguish the joint contribution and their in- or out-phase co-works. Results showed that addition of cognitive loads reduce the stability by increasing the center of mass (CoM) power to three times greater. Besides the CoM, the knee and hip powers were also significantly enhanced by the cognitive loads (p < .004), but the ankle was not influenced by cognition involvement (p > .05). Elimination of the vision had lower effect on the time and spectral functions of the knee and hip while the ankle rotations were increased due to the lack of visual feedback (p = .001). The toes-down perturbations resulted in more prominent contribution of the knee while the toes-up evoked the hip joint to keep the balance more than the other joints. Addition of the cognitive loads hindered the reactions of the joint mechanisms and vision caused more conservative responses of the joints.


Postural control Joint mechanism Vision Cognitive Power spectral 



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Biomedical EngineeringSahand University of TechnologyTabrizIran

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