Podokinetic after-rotation in a simulated reduced gravity environment

Michael J. Falvo, Fay B. Horak, Gammon M. Earhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Stepping in place on a rotating platform for a period of 15 minutes induces an adaptive response, podokinetic after-rotation (PKAR), which causes a blindfolded individual to inadvertently rotate when attempting to step in place on the floor. The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether lower extremity load receptors were involved in this adaptation. As load receptor input is critical for locomotion, we hypothesized that manipulating load via body weight support (BWS) would influence PKAR. Eleven healthy female volunteers performed 15 minutes of stepping in place on a rotating treadmill (stimulation), followed by 10 minutes of stepping in place (response) without vision on a stationary surface. Response and stimulation periods were with 50% body weight support (BWS) and without body weight support (NoBWS) in all four possible combinations (BWS-BWS, NoBWS-NoBWS, BWS-NoBWS, and NoBWS-BWS). Conditions were randomly assigned to all subjects and performed on four separate occasions at least 48 hr apart. During the 10-min PKAR response period, trunk angular velocity was calculated and plotted versus time, and exponential models were applied to the data to obtain curve-fit parameters for each condition. Despite the manipulations of BWS, no significant differences were found for any parameter value (p = 0.13-0.98). BWS applied during stimulation only, response only, or during both stimulation and response does not appear to influence PKAR. This suggests that load receptors may not play a critical role in mediating adaptive changes in locomotor trajectory control in response to walking on a rotating surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-193
Number of pages6
JournalSomatosensory and Motor Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008


  • Body weight support
  • Load receptor
  • Podokinetic after-rotation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Sensory Systems


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