Simulation Experiments can Shed Light on the Functional Aspects of Postural Adjustments Related to Voluntary Movements

  • Constance F. Ramos
  • Lawrence W. Stark


Voluntary movements of the upper body are accompanied by anticipatory postural adjustments in the lower body in a standing subject. The experimental studies described in Chapter 30 (Bouisset and Zattara) support the hypothesis that these anticipatory activities initiate an opposing acceleration of the body which counteracts the oncoming perturbation to the center of gravity caused by the voluntary movement. This idea is centered around the physical principle of “Action = Reaction” and is a compelling biomechanical explanation. However, it may also be that the anticipatory activity serves a neurophysiological purpose, for example, related to setting proprioceptive feedback gains in the postural muscles.


Voluntary Movement Postural Adjustment Postural Muscle Anticipatory Activity Postural Perturbation 
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© Springer-Verlag, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Constance F. Ramos
  • Lawrence W. Stark

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