Cendra Agulhon



Conference room R229
Campus Saint Germain des Prés de l'Université de Paris, 45 rue des Saints Pères, Paris 6e


28 Nov 2022


11 h 00 min - 12 h 00 min


INCC Seminar Series

The neuro-biomechanical control of balance, by Charlotte Le Mouel

Summary The neuro-biomechanical control of balance
Humans and other mammals are capable of learning outstanding sensorimotor coordination skills, which share one crucial component: the ability to maintain balance during movement. This requires coordinating the contractions of the 600 muscles of the body, to adapt the forces to the body, environment and task. In this talk, I show how taking this biomechanical perspective provides novel insight into the neural control of movement. For example, when standing in challenging balance conditions (such as at the edge of a cliff), I show that the neural control of stance is paradoxically reduced, because of an increased reliance on the body biomechanics to provide stability. When walking, balance is maintained by adjusting the limb angle to minimise rotation around the body center of mass. When learning to walk on the hands, I show that the nervous system converges to the same biomechanical strategy. These results suggest that agility relies on the nervous system adjusting the body biomechanics to the task. An inability to adjust the biomechanics appropriately may lead to the balance impairments seen in a variety of neurological conditions.

Short Biography
Charlotte Le Mouel did her PhD from 2014 until 2018 at Sorbonne Université, under the supervision of Romain Brette. There, she modeled the interaction between neural control and biomechanics for sensorimotor coordination. From 2018 until 2019, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the Dynamic Locomotion Group (Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, Germany), where she studied running balance in birds. From 2020 until 2022, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Sports Science (University of Münster), where she explored sensorimotor control of handstance. Since Oct 2022, she is now Chargée de Recherches CNRS at the Centre Borelli.
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