Task, muscle and frequency dependent vestibular control of posture

P.A. Forbes, G.P. Siegmund, Alfred Christiaan Schouten, J.S. Blouin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


The vestibular system is crucial for postural control; however there are considerable differences in the task dependence and frequency response of vestibular reflexes in appendicular and axial muscles. For example, vestibular reflexes are only evoked in appendicular muscles when vestibular information is relevant to postural control, while in neck muscles they are maintained regardless of the requirement to maintain head on trunk balance. Recent investigations have also shown that the bandwidth of vestibular input on neck muscles is much broader than appendicular muscles (up to a factor of 3). This result challenges the notion that vestibular reflexes only contribute to postural control across the behavioral and physiological frequency range of the vestibular organ (i.e., 0–20 Hz). In this review, we explore and integrate these task-, muscle- and frequency-related differences in the vestibular system’s contribution to posture, and propose that the human nervous system has adapted vestibular signals to match the mechanical properties of the system that each group of muscles controls.
Original languageEnglish
Article number94
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalFrontiers in integrative neuroscience
Issue number94
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • METIS-310819
  • IR-100852


Dive into the research topics of 'Task, muscle and frequency dependent vestibular control of posture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this