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James R. Chagdes, Joshua J. Liddy, Amanda J. Arnold, Laura J. Claxton and Jeffrey M. Haddad

Background Posture and Balance Assessments in Developmental Research The maturation of posture and balance is often examined by collecting center of pressure (CoP) data from research-grade force plates. The CoP time series is then used to calculate a variety of time-dependent and time

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Richard G. Mynark and David M. Koceja

The spinal stretch reflex consists of a relatively simple neuronal network. The Ia afferent fiber of the muscle spindle communicates to the alpha motoneuron via a single synapse. This basic pathway has been studied extensively over the past century, yet considerable information continues to emerge concerning the manner in which this pathway adapts to aging. It is well accepted that the amplitude of the spinal stretch reflex declines with normal aging, and it is intuitively agreed that these changes have a detrimental impact on the motor output of aging individuals. Understanding the changes observed in the spinal stretch reflex pathway due to aging requires a recognition of the changes that can occur in each component of this spinal network. This review will address these changes by following the spinal stretch reflex from initiation to completion. The components that result in the sensory input to the motoneuron will be covered first, followed by a review of the physiological changes that can occur to the motoneuron soma that can affect the processing of the sensory input. The output of the motoneuron encompasses the remaining components from the motor axon itself, to the neuromuscular junction, and then to the characteristic changes in the muscle. Finally, the functional effect that these changes have on the reflex as a fundamental motor behavior will be addressed, especially in terms of its impact on posture and balance.

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Wael Maktouf, Sylvain Durand, Bruno Beaune and Sébastien Boyas

minutes per week during 4 months. The PA program was based on posture and balance exercises (eg, adapted squats, single-leg stance, standing against perturbations) and motor skill exercises (eg, walking with obstacles and/or in varied directions, sit to stand). This method favoring the combination of

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Fabiana Rodrigues Osti, Caroline Ribeiro de Souza and Luis Augusto Teixeira

tasks on balance ability in stroke patients . Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 27 ( 8 ), 2457 – 2460 . PubMed doi:10.1589/jpts.27.2457 10.1589/jpts.27.2457 Thompson , C. , Belanger , M. , & Fung , J. ( 2011 ). Effects of plantar cutaneo-muscular and tendon vibration on posture and balance

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Gemma V. Espí-López, Pilar Serra-Añó, David Cobo-Pascual, Manuel Zarzoso, Luis Suso-Martí, Ferran Cuenca-Martínez and Marta Inglés

study. Balance Exercises These exercises were focused on postural and balance control of the lower limbs and were performed twice a week for 20 minutes, together with the normal training sessions, following the guidelines of Cruz-Diaz et al. 21 Briefly, the BE program included a circuit of 6 exercises

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Stephen M. Glass, Christopher K. Rhea, Matthew W. Wittstein, Scott E. Ross, John P. Florian and F.J. Haran

affect posture and balance. 11 , 12 Differences between microgravity and aquatic environments also affect visual and vestibular sources of input. Unlike microgravity, human vision is adversely impacted during water immersion, as air is replaced by water at the corneal surface producing a gross

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Jeffrey C. Cowley, Steven T. McCaw, Kelly R. Laurson and Michael R. Torry

in physical activity ( 24 , 35 , 40 , 41 ). Motor deficits of children who are overweight are most pronounced in skills that require lifting or propelling the body against gravity ( 8 , 31 ). Observed posture and balance deficits in children who are overweight suggest that these children have limited

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Nili Steinberg, Roger Adams, Oren Tirosh, Janet Karin and Gordon Waddington

-term deterioration of postural and balance control. 1 , 11 It seems likely that our injured dancers suffered disruption of the neuromotor system that altered their ankle discrimination ability for inversion movements, delayed the motor response of the peroneal muscles, and altered the quality of interpretation of

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Enzo Iuliano, Giovanni Fiorilli, Giovanna Aquino, Alfonso Di Costanzo, Giuseppe Calcagno and Alessandra di Cagno

sessions, using heart rate monitors (Table  2 – Panel B). The third group, the postural group (PG; n  = 20), performed low intensity training based on postural and balance exercises. PG exercise protocols are described in Table  2 – Panel C. The last group, the control group (CG; n  = 20), did not