Is head-on-trunk extension a proprioceptive mediator of postural control and sit-to-stand movement characteristics?J Mot Behav. 2011; 43(6):491-8.JM
During stance, head extension increases postural sway, possibly due to interference with sensory feedback. The sit-to-stand movement is potentially destabilizing due to the development of momentum as the trunk flexes forward and the body transitions to a smaller base of support. It is unclear what role head orientation plays in the postural and movement characteristics of the sit-to-stand transition. The authors assessed how moving from sitting to standing with head-on-trunk extension compared with moving with the head neutral or flexed, or with moving with the head facing forward in space (which would involve head-on-trunk extension, but not head-in-space extension) in healthy, young participants. Head-on-trunk extension increased center of pressure variability, but decreased movement velocities, movement duration, and trunk flexion compared with flexed and neutral head-on-trunk orientations. Similarities in movement characteristics between head-on-trunk extension and the forward head-in-space orientation suggest that stabilizing the head in space does not fully counteract the postural and movement changes due to head-on-trunk extension. Findings suggest that proprioceptive feedback from the neck muscles contributes to the regulation of posture and movement, and therefore should not be overlooked in research on the role of sensory feedback in postural control.