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Journal Article


Duncan CA, Ingram TG, Mansfield A, Byrne JM, McIlroy WE. PLoS One 2016; 11(11): e0165735.


Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada.


(Copyright © 2016, Public Library of Science)






Central or postural set theory suggests that the central nervous system uses short term, trial to trial adaptation associated with repeated exposure to a perturbation in order to improve postural responses and stability. It is not known if longer-term prior experiences requiring challenging balance control carryover as long-term adaptations that influence ability to react in response to novel stimuli. The purpose of this study was to determine if individuals who had long-term exposure to balance instability, such as those who train on specific skills that demand balance control, will have improved ability to adapt to complex continuous multidirectional perturbations. Healthy adults from three groups: 1) experienced maritime workers (n = 14), 2) novice individuals with no experience working in maritime environments (n = 12) and 3) individuals with training in dance (n = 13) participated in the study. All participants performed a stationary standing task while being exposed to five 6 degree of freedom motions designed to mimic the motions of a ship at sea. The balance reactions (change-in-support (CS) event occurrences and characteristics) were compared between groups.

RESULTS indicate dancers demonstrated significantly fewer CS events than novices during the first trial, but did not perform as well as those with offshore experience. Linear trend analyses revealed that short-term adaptation across all five trials was dependent on the nature of participant experience, with dancers achieving postural stability earlier than novices, but later than those with offshore experience. These results suggest that long term previous experiences also have a significant influence on the neural control of posture and balance in the development of compensatory responses.

Language: en


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