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Stergiou -

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Our objective was to investigate how manipulating sensory input through mastoid vibration (MV) could affect dynamic postural control during walking, with and without simultaneous manipulation of the visual and the somatosensory systems. We used three levels of MV (none, unilateral, and bilateral) via vibrating elements placed on the mastoid processes. We combined this with the six conditions of the Locomotor Sensory Organization Test (LSOT) paradigm to challenge the visual and somatosensory systems. We hypothesized that MV would affect both amount and temporal structure measures of sway variability during walking and that, in combination with manipulations of the visual and the somatosensory inputs, MV would augment the effects previously observed. The results confirmed that MV produced a significant increase in the amount of sway variability in both anterior–posterior and medial–lateral directions. Significant changes in the temporal structure of sway variability were only observed in the anterior–posterior direction. Bilateral MV produced larger effects than unilateral stimulation. We concluded that sensory input while walking could be affected using MV. Combining MV with manipulations of visual and somatosensory input could allow us to better understand the contributions of the sensory systems during locomotion.


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Journal Title

Annals of Biomedical Engineering



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Biomechanics Commons