Sensory contributions to the control of stance: A posture control model

Thomas Mergner, Christoph Maurer, Robert J. Peterka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


We present the outline of a dual kinetic-kinematic postural control model. It is based on concepts of inter-sensory interaction (sensor fusion) which we consider instrumental for sensorimotor integration. Separation into kinetic and kinematic control signals begins at the level of the sensors (e.g., vestibular system - otoliths: force field meters, canals: head angular speedometers). Sensor fusion mechanisms are used to yield separate internal representations for foot support kinematics, force fields such as gravity, and contact forces such as pull or push having impact on the body. These representations are fed as global set point signals into local proprioceptive control loops of the joints. Fed into an ankle joint proprioceptive loop for body-on-support stabilization, they yield compensation of support tilt, gravity and contact forces, even when these stimuli are combined and, furthermore, voluntary lean is superimposed. Model simulations parallel our experimental findings so far obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in experimental medicine and biology
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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