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A healthy biological system is characterized by a temporal structure that exhibits fractal properties and is highly complex. Unhealthy systems demonstrate lowered complexity and either greater or less predictability in the temporal structure of a time series. The purpose of this research was to determine if support surface translations with different temporal structures would affect the temporal structure of the center of pressure (COP) signal. Eight healthy young participants stood on a force platform that was translated in the anteroposterior direction for input conditions of varying complexity: white noise, pink noise, brown noise, and sine wave. Detrended fluctuation analysis was used to characterize the long-range correlations of the COP time series in the AP direction. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed differences among conditions (p < 0.001). The less complex support surface translations resulted in a less complex COP compared to normal standing. A quadratic trend analysis demonstrated an inverted-u shape across an increasing order of predictability of the conditions (p < 0.001). The ability to influence the complexity of postural control through support surface translations can have important implications for rehabilitation.


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Journal Title

Annals of Biomedical Engineering

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Biomechanics Commons