Dynamic and Loaded Impedance Components in the Maintenance of Human Arm Posture

John M. Dolan, Mark B. Friedman, Mark L. Nagurka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


The postural stiffness of the human arm has previously been estimated by displacing the hand from a series of equilibrium positions and correlating the resultant displacements and restoring forces. We extend this experimental methodology to include measurement of dynamic components of impedance. The stiffness-damping-mass characteristics are represented numerically as matrices and graphically as ellipses characterized by size, shape, and orientation. The latter depict the predominant nonrotational component of the impedance force fields. The results suggest 1) joint damping is related to both joint stiffness and joint inertia, and 2 ) two-joint impedances, i.e., impedances associated with muscles connected across both the elbow and shoulder joints, play a relatively smaller role in damping than in stiffness. The ability to modulate stiffness in the face of initial static bias forces, i.e., “loading,” is also examined. We observe regular shifts in the human arm endpoint's “spring center” corresponding to the bias force directions and magnitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)698-709
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Dynamic and Loaded Impedance Components in the Maintenance of Human Arm Posture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this