Mechanisms of interpersonal sway synchrony and stability

Journal article


Reynolds, Raymond Francis and Osler, Callum J. 2014. Mechanisms of interpersonal sway synchrony and stability. Journal of The Royal Society Interface. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2014.0751
AuthorsReynolds, Raymond Francis and Osler, Callum J.
Abstract

Here we explain the neural and mechanical mechanisms responsible for synchronizing sway and improving postural control during physical contact with another standing person. Postural control processes were modelled using an inverted pendulum under continuous feedback control. Interpersonal interactions were simulated either by coupling the sensory feedback loops or by physically coupling the pendulums with a damped spring. These simulations precisely recreated the timing and magnitude of sway interactions observed empirically. Effects of firmly grasping another person's shoulder were explained entirely by the mechanical linkage. This contrasted with light touch and/or visual contact, which were explained by a sensory weighting phenomenon; each person's estimate of upright was based on a weighted combination of veridical sensory feedback combined with a small contribution from their partner. Under these circumstances, the model predicted reductions in sway even without the need to distinguish between self and partner motion. Our findings explain the seemingly paradoxical observation that touching a swaying person can improve postural control.

KeywordsPosture; Interpersonal; Feedback model
Year2014
JournalJournal of The Royal Society Interface
PublisherThe Royal Society
ISSN1742-5689
1742-5662
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2014.0751
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/335867
hdl:10545/335867
Publication dates22 Oct 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited21 Nov 2014, 09:36
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Archived with thanks to Journal of The Royal Society Interface

ContributorsUniversity of Birmingham and University of Derby
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