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    The role of conscious control in maintaining stable posture

    Uiga, L ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5371-9428, Capio, CM, Ryu, D, Wilson, MR and Masters, RSW (2017) The role of conscious control in maintaining stable posture. Human Movement Science, 57. pp. 442-450. ISSN 0167-9457

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    Abstract

    © 2017 Elsevier B.V. This study aimed to examine the relationship between conscious control of movements, as defined by the Theory of Reinvestment (Masters & Maxwell, 2008; Masters, Polman, & Hammond, 1993), and both traditional and complexity-based COP measures. Fifty-three young adults (mean age = 20.93 ± 2.53 years), 39 older adults with a history of falling (mean age = 69.23 ± 3.84 years) and 39 older adults without a history of falling (mean age = 69.00 ± 3.72 years) were asked to perform quiet standing balance in single- and dual-task conditions. The results showed that higher scores on the Movement Specific Reinvestment Scale (MSRS; Masters, Eves, & Maxwell, 2005; Masters & Maxwell, 2008), a psychometric measure of the propensity for conscious involvement in movement, were associated with larger sway amplitude and a more constrained (less complex) mode of balancing in the medial–lateral direction for young adults only. Scores on MSRS explained approximately 10% of total variation in the medial–lateral sway measures. This association was not apparent under dual-task conditions, during which a secondary task was used to limit the amount of cognitive resources available for conscious processing. No relationship between postural control and score on the MSRS was found for either older adult fallers or non-fallers. Possible explanations for these results are discussed.

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