Asymmetric Sensory Reweighting in Human Upright Stance

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Logan, David
Kiemel, Tim
Jeka, John J.
Logan D, Kiemel T, Jeka JJ (2014) Asymmetric Sensory Reweighting in Human Upright Stance. PLoS ONE 9(6): e100418. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100418
To investigate sensory reweighting as a fundamental property of sensor fusion during standing, we probed postural control with simultaneous rotations of the visual scene and surface of support. Nineteen subjects were presented with pseudo-random pitch rotations of visual scene and platform at the ankle to test for amplitude dependencies in the following conditions: low amplitude vision: high amplitude platform, low amplitude vision: low amplitude platform, and high amplitude vision: low amplitude platform. Gain and phase of frequency response functions (FRFs) to each stimulus were computed for two body sway angles and a single weighted EMG signal recorded from seven muscles. When platform stimulus amplitude was increased while visual stimulus amplitude remained constant, gain to vision increased, providing strong evidence for inter-modal reweighting between vision and somatosensation during standing. Intra-modal reweighting of vision was also observed as gains to vision decreased as visual stimulus amplitude increased. Such intra-modal and inter-modal amplitude dependent changes in gain were also observed in muscular activity. Gains of leg segment angle and muscular activity relative to the platform, on the other hand, showed only intra-modal reweighting. That is, changing platform motion amplitude altered the responses to both visual and support surface motion whereas changing visual scene motion amplitude did not significantly affect responses to support surface motion, indicating that the sensory integration scheme between somatosensation (at the support surface) and vision is asymmetric.
Funding for Open Access provided by the UMD Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund.