Postural coordination modes considered as emergent phenomena

Benoît G. Bardy, Ludovic Marin, Thomas A. Stoffregen, Reinoud J. Bootsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


The coordination of multiple body segments (torso and legs) in the control of standing posture during a suprapostural task was studied. The analysis was motivated by dynamical theories of motor coordination. In 2 experiments it was found that multisegment postural coordination could be described by the relative phase of rotations around the hip and ankle joints. The effective length of the feet, the height of the center of mass, and the amplitude of head motions in a visual tracking task were varied. Across these variations, 2 modes of hip-ankle coordination were observed: in-phase and anti-phase. The emergence of these modes was influenced by constraints imposed by the suprapostural tracking task, supporting the idea that such tasks influence postural control in an adaptive manner. Results are interpreted in terms of a dynamical approach to coordination in which postural coordination modes can be viewed as emergent phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1284-1301
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1999


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