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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 542645, 9 pages
Research Article

Laterality of Stance during Optic Flow Stimulation in Male and Female Young Adults

Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy

Received 21 November 2014; Accepted 8 April 2015

Academic Editor: Júlia M. Greve

Copyright © 2015 Michela Persiani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


During self-motion, the spatial and temporal properties of the optic flow input directly influence the body sway. Men and women have anatomical and biomechanical differences that influence the postural control during visual stimulation. Given that recent findings suggest a peculiar role of each leg in the postural control of the two genders, we investigated whether the body sway during optic flow perturbances is lateralized and whether anteroposterior and mediolateral components of specific center of pressure (COP) parameters of the right and left legs differ, reexamining a previous experiment (Raffi et al. (2014)) performed with two, side-by-side, force plates. Experiments were performed on 24 right-handed and right-footed young subjects. We analyzed five measures related to the COP of each foot and global data: anteroposterior and mediolateral range of oscillation, anteroposterior and mediolateral COP velocity, and sway area. Results showed that men consistently had larger COP parameters than women. The values of the COP parameters were correlated between the two feet only in the mediolateral axis of women. These findings suggest that optic flow stimulation causes asymmetry in postural balance and different lateralization of postural controls in men and women.