Acceleration feedback improves balancing against reflex delay

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A model for human postural balance is considered in which the time-delayed feedback depends on position, velocity and acceleration (proportional- derivative-acceleration (PDA) feedback). It is shown that a PDA controller is equivalent to a predictive controller, in which the prediction is based on the most recent information of the state, but the control input is not involved into the prediction. A PDA controller is superior to the corresponding proportional-derivative controller in the sense that the PDA controller can stabilize systems with approximately 40 per cent larger feedback delays. The addition of a sensory dead zone to account for the finite thresholds for detection by sensory receptors results in highly intermittent, complex oscillations that are a typical feature of human postural sway.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20120763
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Issue number79
Publication statusPublished - Feb 6 2013



  • Acceleration feedback
  • Human balancing
  • Reflex delay
  • Sensory threshold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering

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