Visual and vestibular inputs affect muscle synergies responsible for body extension and stabilization in sit-to-stand motion

Kazunori Yoshida, Qi An, Arito Yozu, Ryosuke Chiba, Kaoru Takakusaki, Hiroshi Yamakawa, Yusuke Tamura, Atsushi Yamashita, Hajime Asama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The sit-to-stand motion is a common movement in daily life and understanding the mechanism of the sit-to-stand motion is important. Our previous study shows that four muscle synergies can characterize the sit-to-stand motion, and they have specific roles, such as upper body flexion, rising from a chair, body extension, and posture stabilization. The time-varying weight of these synergies are changed to achieve adaptive movement. However, the relationship between sensory input and the activation of the muscle synergies is not completely understood. In this paper, we aim to clarify how vestibular and visual inputs affect the muscle synergy in sit-to-stand motion. To address this, we conducted experiments as follows. Muscle activity, body kinematics, and ground reaction force were measured for the sit-to-stand motion under three different conditions: control, visual-disturbance, and vestibular-disturbance conditions. Under the control condition, the participants stood without any intervention. Under the visual-disturbance condition, the participants wore convex lens glasses and performed the sit-to-stand motion in a dark room. Under the vestibular-disturbance condition, a caloric test was performed. Muscle synergies were calculated for these three conditions using non-negative matrix factorization. We examined whether the same four muscle synergies were employed under each condition, and the changes in the time-varying coefficients were determined. These experiments were conducted on seven healthy, young participants. It was found that four muscle synergies could explain the muscle activity in the sit-to-stand motion under the three conditions. However, there were significant differences in the time-varying weight coefficients. When the visual input was disturbed, a larger amplitude was found for the muscle synergy that activated mostly in the final posture stabilization phase of the sit-to-stand motion. Under vestibular-disturbance condition, a longer activation was observed for the synergies that extended the entire body and led to posture stabilization. The results implied that during human sit-to-stand motion, visual input has less contribution to alter or correct activation of muscle synergies until the last phase. On the other hand, duration of muscle synergies after the buttocks leave are prolonged in order to adapt to the unstable condition in which sense of verticality is decreased under vestibular-disturbance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1042
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Issue numberJAN
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Muscle synergy
  • Sensorimotor
  • Sit-to-stand
  • Vestibular
  • Visual


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