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See 1 citation in J Neuroeng Rehabil 2013:

J Neuroeng Rehabil. 2013 Dec 19;10:115. doi: 10.1186/1743-0003-10-115.

The effect of prosthetic feedback on the strategies and synergies used by vestibular loss subjects to control stance.

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Department of ORL, University Hospital, Petersgraben 4, CH - 4031 Basel, Switzerland.



This study investigated changes in stance movement strategies and muscle synergies when bilateral peripheral vestibular loss (BVL) subjects are provided feedback of pelvis sway angle.


Six BVL (all male) and 7 age-matched male healthy control (HC) subjects performed 3 stance tasks: standing feet hip width apart, eyes closed, on a firm and foam surface, and eyes open on foam. Pelvis and upper trunk movements were recorded in the roll and pitch planes. Surface EMG was recorded from pairs of antagonistic muscles at the lower leg, trunk and upper arm. Subjects were first assessed without feedback. Then, they received training with vibrotactile, auditory, and fall-warning visual feedback during stance tasks before being reassessed with feedback.


Feedback reduced pelvis sway angle displacements to values of HCs for all tasks. Movement strategies were reduced in amplitude but not otherwise changed by feedback. These strategies were not different from those of HCs before or after use of feedback. Low frequency motion was in-phase and high frequency motion anti-phasic. Feedback reduced amplitudes of EMG, activity ratios (synergies) of antagonistic muscle pairs and slightly reduced baseline muscle activity.


This is the first study demonstrating how vestibular loss subjects achieve a reduction of sway during stance with prosthetic feedback. Unchanged movement strategies with reduced amplitudes are achieved with improved antagonistic muscle synergies. This study suggests that both body movement and muscle measures could be explored when choosing feedback variables, feedback location, and patient groups for prosthetic devices which reduce sway of those with a tendency to fall.

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