Protocol to assess the neurophysiology associated with multi-segmental postural coordination

Karen V. Lomond, Sharon M. Henry, Jesse V. Jacobs, Juvena R. Hitt, Fay B. Horak, Rajal G. Cohen, Daniel Schwartz, Julie A. Dumas, Magdalena R. Naylor, Richard Watts, Michael J. Desarno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs) stabilize potential disturbances to posture caused by movement. Impaired APAs are common with disease and injury. Brain functions associated with generating APAs remain uncertain due to a lack of paired tasks that require similar limb motion from similar postural orientations, but differ in eliciting an APA while also being compatible with brain imaging techniques (e.g., functional magnetic resonance imaging; fMRI). This study developed fMRI-compatible tasks differentiated by the presence or absence of APAs during leg movement. Eighteen healthy subjects performed two leg movement tasks, supported leg raise (SLR) and unsupported leg raise (ULR), to elicit isolated limb motion (no APA) versus multi-segmental coordination patterns (including APA), respectively. Ground reaction forces under the feet and electromyographic activation amplitudes were assessed to determine the coordination strategy elicited for each task. Results demonstrated that the ULR task elicited a multi-segmental coordination that was either minimized or absent in the SLR task, indicating that it would serve as an adequate control task for fMRI protocols. A pilot study with a single subject performing each task in an MRI scanner demonstrated minimal head movement in both tasks and brain activation patterns consistent with an isolated limb movement for the SLR task versus multi-segmental postural coordination for the ULR task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)N97-N105
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • EMG
  • MRI
  • cerebral cortex
  • multi-segmental
  • postural coordination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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