The effect of prior leaning on human postural responses

FB Horak, SP Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


This study examines how human postural responses are altered by leaning about the ankles to five different initial stance positions prior to anterior or posterior horizontal translations of the support surface. When subjects leaned in the same direction as the translation-induced sway, postural strategies changed to use of less ankle torque and more horizontal shear forces at the surface to return to equilibrium. This change in strategy was associated with reduced and delayed activation of the stretched ankle muscles and an increased activation of proximal muscles producing rapid hip flexions or extensions. The changes in ankle muscle activation strength and latencies cannot be predicted based on simple stretch or load reflexes, but match predictions from computational, biomechanical models of human stance co-ordination1-4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-210
Number of pages8
JournalGait and Posture
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • EMG
  • Posture
  • electromyography
  • model
  • stretch reflex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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