Social cognition and motor control: Evidence from postural control of balance observer

Document Type : Original Articles


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Occupational Therapy, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Physical Education, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran



Introduction: Mirror neurons are fired either by executing a motor task or by observing someone else performing it. The purpose of present study was to evaluate the postural control of balance-observers. Materials and Methods: In present cross-sectional study, the anteroposterior, mediolateral and overall postural sway of 20 students were evaluated by Biodex balance system while they did or did not observe postural balance status. Paired sample t test was used for the statistical analysis of the data. Results: Mediolateral and overall sway enhanced by observing balance position (P = 0.018, P = 0.049). Antroposterior postural sway did not show any difference in two positions. Conclusion: Observing postural control increased postural sway. These findings could be best accounted for by the activity of mirror neuron that involved in managing postural control. It can be concluded that simultaneously executing the motor task at hand by therapist may serve as an overload during exercise therapy. Keywords: Mirror neuron, Postural control, Social cognition