Vestibulospinal Control of Posture
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To better understand the role of the vestibular system in postural coordination, we compared the ability of subjects with complete, bilateral loss of vestibular function and age-matched control subjects to maintain equilibrium and postural orientation during sinusoidal displacements of the support surface at a variety of frequencies. We also examined the ability of visual or somatosensory-light touch information to substitute for missing vestibular information in dynamic postural coordination. The results suggest that vestibular information is used as a gravitational reference frame to prevent slow drift of the trunk in space during complex postural tasks. Furthermore, visual information or somatosensory information from light touch of a finger on a stable reference can significantly substitute for loss of vestibular function.
KeywordsLight Touch Experimental Brain Research Surface Translation Quiet Stance Slow Drift
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