Anticipatory postural adjustments associated with lateral and rotational perturbations during standing

Alexander S. Aruin, Tetsuo Ota, Mark L. Latash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


We studied the role of different leg and trunk muscle groups in the generation of anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs) prior to lateral and rotational perturbations associated with predictable and self-triggered postural perturbations during standing. Postural perturbations were induced by a variety of manipulations including catching and releasing a load with the right hand extended either in front of the body or to the right side, performing bilateral fast shoulder movements in different directions, and applying brief force pulses with a hand against the wall. Perturbations in a frontal plane ('lateral perturbations') were associated with significant asymmetries in APAs seen in the right and left distal (soleus and tibialis anterior) muscles; these asymmetries dependent on the direction of the perturbation. Rotational perturbations about the vertical axis of the body generated by fast movements of the two shoulders in the opposite directions were also associated with direction-dependent asymmetries in the APAs in soleus muscles. However, rotational perturbations generated by an off-body-midline force pulse application were accompanied by direction-dependent asymmetries in proximal muscle groups, but not in the distal muscles. We conclude that muscles controlling the ankle joint play an important role in the compensation of lateral and rotational perturbations. The abundance of muscles participating in maintaining vertical posture allows the control system to use different task-dependent strategies during the generation of APAs in anticipation of rotational perturbation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-51
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Neurology


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