Acute effects of Dry Immersion on kinematic characteristics of postural corrective responses

D. G. Sayenko, T. F. Miller, K. A. Melnik, A. I. Netreba, D. R. Khusnutdinova, V. V. Kitov, E. S. Tomilovskaya, M. F. Reschke, Y. P. Gerasimenko, I. B. Kozlovskaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Impairments in balance control are inevitable following exposure to microgravity. However, the role of particular sensory system in postural disorders at different stages of the exposure to microgravity still remains unknown. We used a method called Dry Immersion (DI), as a ground-based model of microgravity, to elucidate the effects of 6-h of load-related afferent inputs on kinematic characteristics of postural corrective responses evoked by pushes to the chest of different intensities during upright standing. The structure of postural corrective responses was altered following exposure to DI, which was manifested by: (1) an increase of the ankle and knee flexion during perturbations of medium intensity, (2) the lack of the compensatory hip extension, as well as diminished knee and ankle flexion with a further increase of the perturbation intensity to submaximal level. We suggest that the lack of weight-bearing increases the reactivity of the balance control system, whereas the ability to scale the responses proportionally to the perturbation intensity decreases. Disrupted neuromuscular coordination of postural corrective responses following DI can be attributed to adaptive neural modifications on the spinal and cortical levels. The present study provides evidence that even a short-term lack of load-related afferent inputs alters kinematic patterns of postural corrective responses, and can result in decreased balance control. Because vestibular input is not primarily affected during the DI exposure, our results indicate that activity and the state of the load-related afferents play critical roles in balance control following real or simulated microgravity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-115
Number of pages6
JournalActa Astronautica
StatePublished - Apr 2016


  • Balance
  • Dry Immersion
  • Human
  • Microgravity
  • Postural correctiveresponses
  • Weight-bearing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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