Dynamics of learning new postural patterns: Influence on preexisting spontaneous behaviors

Elise Faugloire, Benoît G. Bardy, Thomas A. Stoffregen

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31 Scopus citations


In stance, rotations around the hips and ankles typically exhibit a relative phase close to 20° or 180°. In 2 experiments, the authors studied the reciprocal influence of those coordination tendencies with learning an ankle-hip relative phase of 135°. Before, during, and after learning a new mode of coordination, they assessed participants' (N = 24 in each experiment) spontaneous postural patterns with a tracking task in which no specific coordination was required. Learning the 135° phase relation led to persistent modifications of the spontaneous in-phase and antiphase modes. Contrary to the theoretical predictions of the dynamical approach, the initial stability of the preexisting patterns did not influence the difficulty of producing the new mode or the improvement in performance during learning. Initial stability did, however, influence the rate and type of modification of spontaneous patterns. The authors discuss the results in relation to conclusions drawn from bimanual studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-312
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Motor Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Enactive Interfaces (EU IST Contract No. 002114) and the National Science Foundation (BCS-0236627) supported this research. We thank Olivier Oullier for his help in data analysis.


  • Ankle-hip coordination
  • Dynamical approach
  • Motor learning
  • Postural system


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