We evaluated the role of visual stimulation on postural muscles and the changes in the center of pressure (CoP) during standing posture in expert and amateur basketball players. Participants were instructed to look at a fixation point presented on a screen during foveal, peripheral, and full field optic flow stimuli. Postural mechanisms and motor strategies were assessed by simultaneous recordings of stabilometric, oculomotor, and electromyographic data during visual stimulation. We found significant differences between experts and amateurs in the orientation of visual attention. Experts oriented attention to the right of their visual field, while amateurs to the bottom-right. The displacement in the CoP mediolateral direction showed that experts had a greater postural sway of the right leg, while amateurs on the left leg. The entropy-based data analysis of the CoP mediolateral direction exhibited a greater value in amateurs than in experts. The root-mean-square and the coactivation index analysis showed that experts activated mainly the right leg while amateurs the left leg. In conclusion, playing sports for years seems to have induced some strong differences in the standing posture between the right and left sides. Even during non-ecological visual stimulation, athletes maintain postural adaptations to counteract the body oscillation.
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