To reduce the effect of an expected postural perturbation, central nervous system uses anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs), which include the activation and inhibition of the postural muscles and a slight shift of the center-of-pressure (COP) position. The generation of APAs majorly relies on the availability of visual information, and is learned through past experience. Hence, such protective mechanism to maintain balance is not implemented when perturbation comes from one’s back unexpectedly. Our previous work showed that young adults could rely on an auditory cue only to generate APAs for a front perturbation similar to that when vision was available. So the purpose was to evaluate whether adults could learn to generate APAs for an external perturbation coming from the back relying only on an auditory cue.
Liang H, Kaewmanee T, & Aruin AS. Young adults can learn to predict unexpected posterior perturbations using an auditory cue. Virtual poster presentation at the 44th American Society of Biomechanics annual meeting (online due to the COVID-19 pandemic), August 4-7, 2020.