2015 Volume 14 Issue 1 Pages 17-27
We investigated regional activity of the cerebral cortex during postural adaptation to a periodic floor oscillation. Subjects (N = 11) maintained a standing posture on a force platform attached to a table that oscillated in the anteroposterior direction with 0.5-Hz frequency and 2.5-cm amplitude. A one-minute trial was repeated until the decrease in the velocity of the center of foot pressure reached a plateau, which is an index of adaptation of postural control. Changes in the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin (oxy-Hb) were measured as an index of activation of brain areas along the longitudinal fissure of the cerebrum (prefrontal cortex (PFC), supplementary motor and primary sensory-motor areas (SM1) and the posterior part of the parietal association cortex (pPAC)), using the near infrared spectroscopy. In the 1st trial, oxy-Hb in all measurement areas increased quickly about 10 s after oscillation onset. The increase became significantly smaller with trial repetition. The decrease in oxy-Hb in SM1 with trial repetition was highly correlated with the decrease in lower-leg muscle activity. Though the postural task was performed with eyes closed, oxy-Hb in pPAC increased until the end of the 1st trial. The time course of changes in oxy-Hb in the PFC showed marked individual differences in the latter half of the 1st trial. In addition, after adaptation, oxy-Hb was significantly lower than before the onset of oscillation. The results showed that there is a particular changing pattern of blood flow in specific brain regions, implying particular activation patterns of these brain regions.