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See 1 citation in J Vestib Res 2017:

J Vestib Res. 2017;27(1):77-87. doi: 10.3233/VES-170601.

Vibro-tactile and auditory balance biofeedback changes muscle activity patterns: Possible implications for vestibular implants.



The two different types of balance prostheses being developed, implants and vibro-tactile/auditory feedback prostheses, rely on different measures to prove efficacy (those based on vestibular ocular reflexes versus balance control, respectively). Here we provide evidence that examining muscle activity might provide a useful alternative for both.


The muscle activity of 6 bilateral vestibular loss (BVL) and 7 age-matched healthy controls (HC) was examined while standing eyes closed on a foam support surface. Pelvis and upper trunk angular movements were recorded in the roll and pitch planes. Surface EMG was recorded from the lower leg, trunk and upper arm muscles. BVL subjects were first assessed without feedback of pelvis sway, then received training with combined vibro-tactile and auditory feedback, before being re-assessed with feedback.


Feedback reduced the amplitudes of pelvis and shoulder sway to values of HC without feedback. Both the level of background EMG activity and the EMG area amplitudes changed when feedback was provided in a manner consistent with the reduced amplitude modulation of muscle synergies of HC.


The results of this study indicate that changed muscle synergy amplitudes underlie improvements in sway achieved by BVL subjects. The concept of this investigation may provide a means to prove efficacy for different types of balance prostheses, including implants.


Balance prostheses; balance control; balance implants; electromyography; muscle activity; vestibular loss; vibro-tactile and auditory biofeedback

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