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Dynamics, Stability, and Control of Stepping


The dynamics, stability, and control of stepping are considered. The role of internal models is elaborated. The main objective of the paper is to provide a better understanding of the machinery and processing in the central nervous system (CNS) that relates to stepping. The role of the vestibular system in balance and balance recovery is described. Balance and balance recovery are essential in stepping, and guarantee the stability of the system before, during, and after stepping. In sagittal standing, humans use two distinct sets of control strategies to maintain their postural stability in response to external disturbance. In one set of strategies, the configuration of the base of support, namely, the position of the feet, remains unchanged. The ankle and hip strategies are examples of postural adjustments where the feet do not move. When the disturbances are large, and move the center of mass or pressure outside the support boundaries, stepping strategies are required. A simple control strategy is proposed for illustrative purposes. Its effectiveness is verified by computer simulation of a seven-link two-dimensional sagittal biped. The applications of the model in assessing trauma and injury are discussed.

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Hemami, H., Barin, K., Jalics, L. et al. Dynamics, Stability, and Control of Stepping. Annals of Biomedical Engineering 32, 1155–1162 (2004).

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  • Stepping
  • Internal dynamics
  • Vestibular processing postural stability
  • Stepping
  • Balance
  • Control
  • Motor control