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Hum Mov Sci. 2008 Jun;27(3):473-95. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2007.11.005. Epub 2008 Mar 14.

Bounded stability of the quiet standing posture: an intermittent control model.

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  • 1Neurolab, DIST (Department of Informatics, Systems, Telecommunications), University of Genova, Via Opera Pia 13, 16145 Genova, Italy.


The paper presents a control model of body sway in quiet standing, which aims at achieving bounded stability by means of an intermittent control mechanism. Control bursts are generated when the current state vector exits an area of uncertainty around the reference point in the phase plane. This area is determined by the limited resolution of proprioceptive signals and the burst generation mechanism is predictive in the sense that it incorporates a rough, but working knowledge (internal model) of the biomechanics of the human inverted pendulum. We show that such a model, in spite of its simplicity and of the fact that it relies on very noisy measurements, is robust and can explain in a detailed way the measured sway patterns.

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