Human movement science | 2021

Multisensory postural control in adults: Variation in visual, haptic, and proprioceptive inputs.



Maintaining balance is fundamentally a multisensory process, with visual, haptic, and proprioceptive information all playing an important role in postural control. The current project examined the interaction between such sensory inputs, manipulating visual (presence versus absence), haptic (presence versus absence of contact with a stable or unstable finger support surface), and proprioceptive (varying stance widths, including shoulder width stance, Chaplin [heels together, feet splayed at approximately 60°] stance, feet together stance, and tandem stance) information. Analyses of mean velocity of the Centre of Pressure (CoP) revealed significant interactions between these factors, with stability gains observed as a function of increasing sensory information (e.g., visual, haptic, visual + haptic), although the nature of these gains was modulated by the proprioceptive information and the reliability of the haptic support surface (i.e., unstable versus stable finger supports). Subsequent analyses on individual difference parameters (e.g., height, leg length, weight, and areas of base of support) revealed that these variables were significantly related to postural measures across experimental conditions. These findings are discussed relative to their implications for multisensory postural control, and with respect to inverted pendulum models of balance. (185 words).

Volume 79
Pages \n 102845\n
DOI 10.1016/j.humov.2021.102845
Language English
Journal Human movement science

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