Perceptual-motor contributions to static and dynamic balance control in children

V. Hatzitaki, V. Zlsi, I. Kollias, E. Kioumourtzoglou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


The authors addressed balance control in children from the perspective of skill development and examined the relationship between specific perceptual and motor skills and static and dynamic balance performance. Fifty 11- to 13-year-old children performed a series of 1-legged balance tasks while standing on a force platform. Postural control was reflected in the maximum displacement of the center of mass in anterior-posterior and mediolateral directions. Simple visual, discrimination, and choice reaction times; sustained attention; visuomotor coordination; kinesthesis; and depth perception were also assessed in a series of perceptual and motor tests. The correlation analysis revealed that balancing under static conditions was strongly associated with the ability to perceive and process visual information, which is important for feedback-based control of balance. On the other hand, when greater task demands were imposed on the system under dynamic balancing conditions, the ability to respond to the destabilizing hip abductions-adductions in order to maintain equilibrium was associated with motor response speed, suggesting the use of a descending, feedforward control strategy. Therefore, like adults, 11- to 13-year-old children have the ability to select varying balance strategies (feedback, feedforward, or both), depending on the constraints of a particular task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-170
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Motor Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Balance
  • Feedback vs. feedforward control
  • Perceptual-motor skills


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