We demonstrated that postural responses to imposed optic flow are to some extent voluntary. In a moving room, participants either stood normally or were instructed to resist any influence of visible motion on their stance. When participants attempted to resist, coupling of body sway with motion of the room was significantly greater than when the eyes were closed, but was significantly reduced relative to coupling in the normal stance condition. The results indicate that the use of imposed optic flow for postural control is not entirely automatic or involuntary. This conclusion motivates a search for non-perceptual factors that may influence the degree to which body sway is coupled to imposed optic flow.
Stoffregen is with the School of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Hove and Schmit are with the Department of Psychology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221. Bardy is with the Center for Research in Sport Sciences and Institut Universitaire de France, University of Paris Sud 11, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France.