In previous studies, blindfolded, healthy subjects exhibited an after-effect of leaning while standing on a horizontal surface after a period of standing on an inclined surface. We investigated whether this kinesthetic after-effect would transfer from one task to another by asking blindfolded subjects to stand on a horizontal surface after stepping-in-place on an incline. Results showed that all subjects demonstrated a forward trunk leaning after-effect lasting from half a minute to over 6 min after stepping on a 10°-toes-up incline for 2.5 min. For 5/7 subjects, the amplitude of the leaning after-effect was very similar following stepping or standing on the inclined surface. The similarity of the post-incline lean between the standing and stepping conditions suggests a common underlying mechanism for the after-effect following standing and walking on a gradient and suggests that prolonged maintenance of a constant ankle or leg posture is not a prerequisite condition for the after-effect. The transfer of a postural effect built-up during a locomotor task to a postural after-effect during a standing task is consistent with a central adaptive mechanism that adjusts the surface-referenced set point for whole body postural orientation for both gait and posture.
- Postural orientation
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