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When maintaining postural stability temporally under increased sensory conflict, a more rigid response is used where the available degrees of freedom are essentially frozen. The current study investigated if such a strategy is also utilized during more dynamic situations of postural control as is the case with walking. This study attempted to answer this question by using the Locomotor Sensory Organization Test (LSOT). This apparatus incorporates SOT inspired perturbations of the visual and the somatosensory system. Ten healthy young adults performed the six conditions of the traditional SOT and the corresponding six conditions on the LSOT. The temporal structure of sway variability was evaluated from all conditions. The results showed that in the anterior posterior direction somatosensory input is crucial for postural control for both walking and standing; visual input also had an effect but was not as prominent as the somatosensory input. In the medial lateral direction and with respect to walking, visual input has a much larger effect than somatosensory input. This is possibly due to the added contributions by peripheral vision during walking; in standing such contributions may not be as significant for postural control. In sum, as sensory conflict increases more rigid and regular sway patterns are found during standing confirming the previous results presented in the literature, however the opposite was the case with walking where more exploratory and adaptive movement patterns are present.


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Journal Title

Annals of Biomedical Engineering

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Biomechanics Commons