Learning to coordinate redundant degrees of freedom in a dynamic balance task

Young Gyu Ko, John Henry Challis, Karl M. Newell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


The present study investigated Bernstein's [The co-ordination and regulation of movements, 1967] proposal regarding the three stages of learning in the changing coordination and control of redundant joint-space degrees of freedom. Six participants practiced maintaining balance on a moving platform that was sinusoidally translated in the anterior-posterior direction for 30 trials on day 1 and 10 trials on day 2. At the beginning of practice, the motion of the torso and limb segments was less coherent in the attempt to compensate for the movement of the support surface in retaining a balanced posture. However, with practice, the organization of a compensatory postural coordination mode became highly coherent and also progressively utilized the passive, inertial forces generated by the movement of the support surface. The findings support the propositions that: (a) the pathway of change over time in the coordination pattern of the torso and joint motions depends on the task goal and constraints to action and (b) the changes in limb and torso motion are in support of the learning of a global body center of mass/platform dynamic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-66
Number of pages20
JournalHuman Movement Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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