Is voluntary control of natural postural sway possible?

Alessander Danna-Dos-Santos, Adriana Menezes Degani, Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, Mark L. Latash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The authors explored whether standing human participants could voluntarily decrease the amplitude of their natural postural sway when presented with explicit visual feedback and a target. Participants (N = 9) stood quietly, without any feedback and with feedback on the center of pressure coordinate or the head orientation. They were unable to decrease sway amplitude when presented with visual feedback and a target. Decreasing target size led to contrasting effects on the 2 fractions of sway: rambling and trembling. The smaller target was associated with a decrease in rambling and an increase in trembling. Those observations suggest that sway represents a superposition of at least 2 independent processes. They also suggest that providing visual feedback on a variable tied to body sway may not be an effective way to decrease postural sway in young healthy people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-185
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of motor behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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