When humans are administered continuous and predictable perturbations of stance, an adaptation period precedes the steady state of balancing behaviour. Little information is available on the modulation of adaptation by vision and perturbation frequency. Moreover, performance of supra-postural tasks may modulate adaptation in as yet unidentified ways. Our purpose was to identify differences in adaptation associated to distinct visual tasks and perturbation frequencies. Twenty non-disabled adult volunteers stood on a platform translating 10 cm in antero-posterior (AP) direction at low (LF, 0.18 Hz) and high frequency (HF, 0.56 Hz) with eyes open (EO) and closed (EC). Additional conditions were reading a text fixed to platform (EO-TP) and reading a text stationary on ground (EO-TG). Peak-to-peak (PP) displacement amplitude and AP position of head and pelvis markers were computed for each of 27 continuous perturbation cycles. The time constant and extent of head and pelvis adaptation and the cross-correlation coefficients between head and pelvis were compared across visual conditions and frequencies. Head and pelvis mean positions in space varied little across conditions and perturbation cycles but the mean head PP displacements changed over time. On average, at LF, the PP displacement of the head and pelvis increased progressively. Adaptation was rapid or ineffective with EO, but slower with EO-TG, EO-TP, EC. At HF, the head PP displacement amplitude decreased progressively with fast adaptation rates, while the pelvis adaptation was not apparent. The results show that visual tasks can modulate the adaptation rate, highlight the effect of the perturbation frequency on adaptation and provide evidence of priority assigned to pelvis stabilization over visual tasks at HF. The effects of perturbation frequency and optic flow and their interaction with other sensory inputs and cognitive tasks on the adaptation strategies should be investigated in impaired individuals and considered in the design of rehabilitation protocols.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)