5 years ago

Standing or swaying to the beat: Discrete auditory rhythms entrain stance and promote postural coordination stability

Humans seem to take social and behavioral advantages of entraining themselves with discrete auditory rhythms (e.g., dancing, communicating). We investigated the benefits of such an entrainment on posture during standing (spontaneous entrainment) and during a whole-body swaying task (intentional synchronization). We first evaluated how body sway was entrained by different auditory metronome frequencies (0.25, 0.5, and 1.0Hz). We then assessed the stabilizing role of auditory rhythms on postural control, characterized in a dynamical systems perspective by informational anchoring of the head (local stabilization) and fewer transitions from in-phase to anti-phase ankle-hip coordination (global stabilization). Our results revealed in both situations an entrainment of postural movements by external rhythms. This entrainment tended to be more effective when the metronome frequency (0.25Hz) was close to the dominant sway frequency. Particularly, we found during intentional synchronization that head movements were less variable when paced by a slower beat (informational anchoring), and that phase transitions between the two stable patterns in postural dynamics were delayed. Our findings demonstrate that human bipedal posture can be actively or spontaneously modulated by an external discrete auditory rhythm, which might be exploited for the purpose of learning and rehabilitation.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0966636217309281

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