Dynamics of human postural transitions


  • Bardy Benoit G.
  • Oullier Olivier
  • Bootsma Reinoud J.
  • Stoffregen Thomas A.

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In the present study, the authors examined transitions between postural coordination modes involved in human stance. The analysis was motivated by dynamical theories of pattern formation, in which coordination modes and transitions between modes are emergent, self-organized properties of the dynamics of animal-environment systems. In 2 experiments, standing participants tracked a moving target with the head. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that changes in body coordination follow typical nonequilibrium phase transitions, exhibiting multistability, bifurcation, critical fluctuations, hysteresis, and critical slowing down. The findings suggest that posture may be organized in terms of dynamical principles and favor the existence of general and common principles governing pattern formation and flexibility in complex systems.

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