Marco Dozza - PhD in Bioengineering, 2003-2007

Biofeedback Systems for Postural Control

11th BFE Annual Meeting, 27 February · 3 March 2007 - Berlin, Germany

• L. Chiari, M. Dozza , and E. Santarmou, “Portable biofeedback systems for the control of posture”, Proceedings of the 11th BFE meeting, Berlin, Germany, February 28 -March 3, 2007.



Summary of the presentation - Biofeedback systems for postural control can be used to improve postural control. Our results form experiments with portable, visual and audio-biofeedback systems suggest that such systems have a big potential for several applications in the rehabilitation and sportive training fields.

Short abstract - Efficient postural control depends on integration of sensory information by the CNS. During motor rehabilitation, therapists favor sensory integration by augmenting sensory information. Sensory information may be also artificially augmented by using biofeedback devices. We designed a few biofeedback devices able to provide augmented motor information via the auditory or visual sensory channels to the users. Motor information was sensed with portable sensors such as accelerometers or instrumented-insoles. A computer was used to visualize, or modulate into a sound, the additional motor information. Few of our results follow. 1) Audio-biofeedback of trunk acceleration decreased sway during stance proportionally to the extent of missing sensory information, suggesting that the CNS uses biofeedback information depending on the extent of the lack of sensory information and that subjects with sensory loss may benefit more than controls from biofeedback systems. 2) Leg muscle activity and the level of co-contraction among leg muscles were not significantly different in trials with and without audio-biofeedback, suggesting that the CNS is able to achieve sway reduction without increasing muscular stiffness when using audio-biofeedback. 3) Depending on the biofeedback coding and representation, the user may achieve different level of performance and choose different strategies for the control of posture.


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