This study evaluated stance control in 24 teenagers with and without Down syndrome (DS) by (a) assessing center of foot pressure variables under different conditions of availability of visual and somatosensory inputs and (b) analyzing postural perturbation and adaptation following abrupt changes in visual information. Results showed no gender-related differences in either group. Group comparison revealed similar strategies in adolescents with and without DS, although quantitative differences may exist in the ability to integrate sensory inputs to control stance. Adaptation to changing environmental conditions varied greatly from one individual to another in the two groups. Finally, comparison of the two experiments suggests that the increased postural oscillations reported for the sample with DS on long lasting recordings could be related to insufficient allocation of cognitive resources in stable environments.
The authors are with the Laboratoire Sport et Performance Motrice, UFRAPS at the Université Joseph Fourier, 38041 Grenoble cedex 9, France. E-mail: <Bettina.email@example.com>.