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    Does increased postural threat lead to more conscious control of posture?

    Huffman JL, Horslen BC, Carpenter MG, et al. 
    Gait Posture 2009 Nov; 30(4) :528-32.

    Although it is well established that postural threat modifies postural control, little is known regarding the underlying mechanism(s) responsible for these changes. It is possible that changes in postural control under conditions of elevated postural threat result from a shift to a more conscious control of posture. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of elevated postural threat on conscious control of posture and to determine the relationship between conscious control and postural control measures. Forty-eight healthy young adults stood on a force plate at two different surface heights: ground level (LOW) and 3.2-m above ground level (HIGH). Centre of pressure measures calculated in the anterior-posterior (AP) direction were mean position (AP-MP), root mean square (AP-RMS) and mean power frequency (AP-MPF). A modified state-specific version of the Movement Specific Reinvestment Scale was used to measure conscious motor processing (CMP) and movement self-consciousness (MSC). Balance confidence, fear of falling, perceived stability, and perceived and actual anxiety indicators were also collected. A significant effect of postural threat was found for movement reinvestment as participants reported more conscious control and a greater concern about their posture at the HIGH height. Significant correlations between CMP and MSC with AP-MP were observed as participants who consciously controlled and were more concerned for their posture leaned further away from the platform edge. It is possible that changes in movement reinvestment can influence specific aspects of posture (leaning) but other aspects may be immune to these changes (amplitude and frequency).

    Accidental Falls
    Analysis of Variance
    Postural Balance
    Young Adult


    Pub Type(s)
    Journal Article Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    PubMed ID


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