This chapter examines the influence of aging on posture control function from the viewpoint of sensory movements. Decreased ability to balance in elderly individuals has multiple contributing factors, including intrinsic physiological and musculoskeletal factors and extrinsic environmental factors. Inputs (information) to the visual, vestibular, and somatic systems that are needed to maintain balance decrease with age, as do the movement outputs and the muscle, joint, and bone strengths, which limit the overall functioning of elderly individuals. In fact, many elderly individuals experience body swaying even when they stand still. When perturbations to one of the sensory systems increases, affecting the dynamic balance, the body sway increases and the balance of elderly individuals becomes more unstable. Postural control in elderly individuals differs from that in young individuals. In addition, the visual control involved in postural control differs between young and elderly individuals. Various aging-related functional changes contribute to an individual’s loss of balance, and studying this domain is more complicated in elderly than in younger individuals. Further studies are required to elucidate the related mechanisms.
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