Stability in a frontal plane model of balance requires coupled changes to postural configuration and neural feedback control

Jeffrey T. Bingham, Julia T. Choi, Lena H. Ting
2011 Journal of Neurophysiology  
Bingham JT, Choi JT, Ting LH. Stability in a frontal plane model of balance requires coupled changes to postural configuration and neural feedback control. ity depends on interactions between the musculoskeletal system and neural control mechanisms. We present a frontal plane model stabilized by delayed feedback to analyze the effects of altered stance width on postural responses to perturbations. We hypothesized that changing stance width alters the mechanical dynamics of the body and limits
more » ... e range of delayed feedback gains that produce stable postural behaviors. Surprisingly, mechanical stability was found to decrease as stance width increased due to decreased effective inertia. Furthermore, due to sensorimotor delays and increased leverage of hip joint torque on center-of-mass motion, the magnitudes of the stabilizing delayed feedback gains decreased as stance width increased. Moreover, the ranges of the stable feedback gains were nonoverlapping across different stance widths such that using a single neural feedback control strategy at both narrow and wide stances could lead to instability. The set of stable feedback gains was further reduced by constraints on foot lift-off and perturbation magnitude. Simulations were fit to experimentally measured kinematics, and the identified feedback gains corroborated model predictions. In addition, analytical gain margin of the linearized system was found to predict step transitions without the need for simulation. In conclusion, this model offers a method to dissociate the complex interactions between postural configuration, delayed sensorimotor feedback, and nonlinear foot lift-off constraints. The model demonstrates that stability at wide stances can only be achieved if delayed neural feedback gains decrease. This model may be useful in explaining both expected and paradoxical changes in stance width in healthy and neurologically impaired individuals. feedback model; frontal plan kinematics; perturbation response; posture and balance; sensorimotor
doi:10.1152/jn.00010.2011 pmid:21543754 pmcid:PMC3129728 fatcat:dt3d6xkrpbeaxgs4syg6pyvily