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Patrice R. Rougier

Resultant center-of-pressure (CP) displacements result along mediolateral (ML) and anteroposterior (AP) axes from strategies mobilizing hips and ankles, respectively, and thus, should be largely influenced by the angles between the feet. To assess this relation and the effects of foot position on postural performance, 9 healthy young adults were tested. The main results, as the forefeet are spread farther apart (from 30° in endorotation to 120° in exorotation), indicate (1) a larger contribution of the estimated ankle mechanisms in the generation of the CP trajectories along the ML axis, (2) increased variances along the longitudinal axis of the feet, (3) a constant longitudinal pattern of the CP trajectories under each foot whose main axis displays a progressively increased angle with the inner borders of the feet, and (4) increased variances for CP displacements along both ML and AP axes. These data emphasize the importance of foot positioning in stance control, especially along the ML axis where spreading the forefeet apart progressively increases the contribution of the mechanisms mobilizing the ankles.

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Patrice R. Rougier and Samir Boudrahem

Past studies have emphasized the beneficial effect of additional visual feedback (VFB) on the capacity of healthy adults to decrease the amplitudes of the center-of-pressure minus center-of-gravity (CP-CGv) movements. To better assess these capacities, 56 subjects were asked to stand still on a force platform and to use the visual information provided. Dependency coefficients, based on their capacity to lower their CP-CGv movements and therefore relax their lower limb muscles, as well as parameters aimed at characterizing their postural strategies were measured across VFB conditions including (1) CP displacements in real time (VFBCP0), (2) CP displacements with a 600-ms delay (VFBCP600), and (3) CP-CGv displacements with a 600-ms delay (VFBCP-CG600). A non-VFB condition (eyes open) was also included. Several linear correlations were used to specify the relation between subjects’ capacity to relax, compared with the VFBCP0 condition, across the three remaining conditions. The data highlight the complementary nature of the VFB conditions and establish the postural control behaviors necessary to use these VFB protocols efficiently.