Journal Article Intermittent muscle activity in the feedback loop of postural control system during natural quiet standing

Tanabe, Hiroko  ,  Fujii, Keisuke  ,  Kouzaki, Motoki

72017-09-6 , Springer Nature
The origin of continual body oscillation during quiet standing is a neural-muscular-skeletal closed feedback loop system that includes insufficient joint stiffness and a time delay. Thus, muscle activity and joint oscillations are nonlinear during quiet standing, making it difficult to demonstrate the muscular-skeletal relationship experimentally. Here we experimentally revealed this relationship using intermittent control theory, in which non-actuation works to stabilize the skeletal system towards equilibrium. We found that leg muscles were activated/inactivated when the state point was located in the opposite/same direction as the direction of anatomical action, which was associated with joint torque actuating the body towards equilibrium. The derivative values of stability index defined in the phase space approximately 200 ms before muscle inactivation were also larger than those before activation for some muscles. These results indicate that bipedal standing might be achieved by monitoring the rate of change of stability/instability components and generating joint torque to stabilize the body. In conclusion, muscles are likely to activate in an event-driven manner during quiet standing and a possible metric for on/off switching is SI dot, and our methodology of EMG processing could allows us to extract such event-driven intermittent muscle activities.

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