Marco Dozza - PhD in Bioengineering, 2003-2007

Biofeedback Systems for Postural Control

13th NCM Meeting, 22·26 April 2003 - Santa Barbara (CA), USA

M. Dozza, F.B. Horak, R.J. Peterka, and L. Chiari, “Balance improvement in subjects with vestibular loss using an audio biofeedback system”, Proc. of the Neural Control of Movement Meeting, Santa Barbara (CA), USA, 22-27 April 2003.

[Poster]

 

Abstract - The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which subjects with profound loss of vestibular information could improve postural stability in stance by substituting audio biofeedback (ABF) of postural sway. AP and ML linear accelerations of the trunk were recorded with a portable sensor on the waist and presented to subjects' earphones with sound wave modulated in frequency and volume. Subjects with chronic, profound, bilateral loss of vestibular function and age-matched controls were asked to stand with eyes closed or open on a compliant foam surface with and without ABF to control their balance. Both vestibular loss and healthy subjects improved stance balance using ABF. With eyes closed sway area decreased 20% for control subjects (CS) and 39% for vestibular loss (VL) subjects. Root mean square (RMS) sway displacement decreased 11% for CS and 24% for VS. Both groups showed increased sway velocity (7.6% for CS and 13% for VL). Vestibular loss subjects with eyes closed on the foam surface and using ABF had RMS and sway area similar to control subjects without ABF. These results suggest that postural stability of vestibular loss subjects benefits from sensory substitution. Future work will involve determining the effect of changing biofeedback characteristics, effects of kinetic rather than kinematic information.

Supported by NIH DC01849.


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