Changes in the activity of the cerebral cortex relate to postural response modification when warned of a perturbation

Jesse V. Jacobs, Katsuo Fujiwara, Hidehito Tomita, Naoe Furune, Kenji Kunita, Fay B. Horak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether the cerebral cortex contributes to modifying upcoming postural responses to external perturbations when provided with prior warning of the perturbation. Methods: Electroencephalographic (EEG) potentials were recorded from 12 healthy human subjects (21-32 years of age) before perturbing their balance with backward translations of a platform under their feet. The subjects responded with and without a visual cue that warned them 2 s before the perturbation (the Cue and No Cue conditions, respectively). Results: Contingent negative variation (CNV) was evident before perturbation onset in only the Cue condition. In the Cue condition, the subjects also produced smaller center of pressure (CoP) displacements than in the No Cue condition. The cue-related difference in the subjects' CNV potentials correlated with the cue-related difference in their CoP displacements. No significant associations existed among the CNV potentials and any cue-related postural adjustments made before the perturbation. Conclusions: Cortical activity before an externally triggered perturbation associates with modifications of the ensuing postural response. Significance: This is the first study to demonstrate a cortical correlate for changes in central postural set that modify externally triggered postural responses based on anticipation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1431-1442
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Adaptation
  • Balance
  • Contingent negative variation
  • Cortex
  • EEG
  • Posture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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