Balance control during an arm raising movement in bipedal stance: Which biomechanical factor is controlled?

  • Ferry M
  • Martin L
  • Termoz N
 et al. 
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In order to obtain new insight into the control of balance during arm raising movements in bipedal stance, we performed a biomechanical analysis of kinematics and dynamical aspects of arm raising movements by combining experimental work, large-scale models of the body, and techniques simulating human behavior. A comparison between experimental and simulated joint kinematics showed that the minimum torque change model yielded realistic trajectories. We then performed an analysis based on computer simulations. Since keeping the center of pressure (CoP) and the projection of the center of mass (CoM) inside the support area is essential for equilibrium, we modeled an arm raising movement where displacement of one or the other variable is limited. For this optimization model, the effects of adding equilibrium constraints on movement trajectories were investigated. The results show that: (a) the choice of the regulated variable influences the strategy adopted by the system and (b) the system was not able to regulate the CoM for very fast movements without compromising its balance. Consequently, we suggest that the system is able to maintain balance while raising the arm by only controlling the CoP. This may be done mainly by using hip mechanisms and controlling net ankle torque.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Center of mass
  • Center of pressure
  • Coordination
  • Dynamic optimization
  • Minimum torque change criterion

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  • Myriam Ferry

  • Luc Martin

  • Nicolas Termoz

  • Julie Côté

  • Francois Prince

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