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Journal Articles Journal of Neurophysiology Year : 2000

Kinematic Synergy Adaptation to Microgravity During Forward Trunk Movement


The aim of the present investigation was to see whether the kinematic synergy responsible for equilibrium control during upper trunk movement was preserved in absence of gravity constraints. In this context, forward trunk movements were studied during both straight-and-level flights (earth-normal gravity condition: normogravity) and periods of weightlessness in parabolic flights (microgravity). Five standing adult subjects had their feet attached to a platform, their eyes were open, and their hands were clasped behind their back. They were instructed to bend the trunk (the head and the trunk together) forward by ∼35° with respect to the vertical in the sagittal plane as fast as possible in response to a tone, and then to hold the final position for 3 s. The initial and final anteroposterior center of mass (CM) positions (i.e., 200 ms before the onset of the movement and 400 ms after the offset of the movement, respectively), the time course of the anteroposterior CM shift during the movement, and the electromyographic (EMG) pattern of the main muscles involved in the movement were studied under both normo- and microgravity. The kinematic synergy was quantified by performing a principal components analysis on the hip, knee, and ankle angle changes occurring during the movement. The results indicate that 1) the anteroposterior position of the CM remains minimized during performance of forward trunk movement in microgravity, in spite of the absence of equilibrium constraints; 2) the strong joint coupling between hip, knee, and ankle, which characterizes the kinematic synergy in normogravity and which is responsible for the minimization of the CM shift during movement, is preserved in microgravity. It represents an invariant parameter controlled by the CNS. 3) The EMG pattern underlying the kinematic synergy is deeply reorganized. This is in contrast with the invariance of the kinematic synergy. It is concluded that during short-term microgravity episodes, the kinematic synergy that minimizes the anteroposterior CM shift is surprisingly preserved due to fast adaptation of the muscle forces to the new constraint.
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hal-04559789 , version 1 (25-04-2024)



Sylvie Vernazza-Martin, N. Martin, J. Massion. Kinematic Synergy Adaptation to Microgravity During Forward Trunk Movement. Journal of Neurophysiology, 2000, 83 (1), pp.453-464. ⟨10.1152/jn.2000.83.1.453⟩. ⟨hal-04559789⟩
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