Multi-segment control for the upright standing posture
University of Delaware
Upright standing postural control is the one of the most common daily activities for most human beings. Although maintaining an upright standing posture is an automatic, non-perceptible task for most people, it can become very challenging for elderly persons and stroke survivors, putting them in greater danger of falling. Numerous studies have been performed to understand the mechanisms of postural control underlying responses to internal and external perturbations. An upright posture can be maintained without falling despite these perturbations, yet, we still do not fully understand the mechanisms of postural control. The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate how the abundant degrees of freedom (DOFs) of the human body are coordinated to maintain upright postural control under a variety of sensory and mechanical conditions in both younger and older adults. A better understanding of postural control mechanisms in various conditions may provide information to help develop better intervention and training programs for improving balance in the elderly and patient populations.