Postural sway and gaze can track the complex motion of a visual target.

PLoS ONE. 2015;10(3):e0119828 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0119828


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML



Vassilia Hatzitaki

Nicholas Stergiou

George Sofianidis

Anastasia Kyvelidou


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Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Variability is an inherent and important feature of human movement. This variability has form exhibiting a chaotic structure. Visual feedback training using regular predictive visual target motions does not take into account this essential characteristic of the human movement, and may result in task specific learning and loss of visuo-motor adaptability. In this study, we asked how well healthy young adults can track visual target cues of varying degree of complexity during whole-body swaying in the Anterior-Posterior (AP) and Medio-Lateral (ML) direction. Participants were asked to track three visual target motions: a complex (Lorenz attractor), a noise (brown) and a periodic (sine) moving target while receiving online visual feedback about their performance. Postural sway, gaze and target motion were synchronously recorded and the degree of force-target and gaze-target coupling was quantified using spectral coherence and Cross-Approximate entropy. Analysis revealed that both force-target and gaze-target coupling was sensitive to the complexity of the visual stimuli motions. Postural sway showed a higher degree of coherence with the Lorenz attractor than the brown noise or sinusoidal stimulus motion. Similarly, gaze was more synchronous with the Lorenz attractor than the brown noise and sinusoidal stimulus motion. These results were similar regardless of whether tracking was performed in the AP or ML direction. Based on the theoretical model of optimal movement variability tracking of a complex signal may provide a better stimulus to improve visuo-motor adaptation and learning in postural control.