SWOV Catalogus


Age-dependent modulation of sensory reweighting for controlling posture in a dynamic virtual environment.
20200627 ST [electronic version only]
Eikema, D.J.A. Hatzitaki, V. Tzovaras, D. & Papaxanthis, C.
Age, Vol. 34 (2012), No. 6 (December), p. 1381-1392, ref.

Samenvatting Older adults require more time to reweight sensory information for maintaining balance that could potentially lead to increased incidence of falling in rapidly changing or cognitively demanding environments. In this study, we manipulated the visual surround information during a collision avoidance task in order to investigate how young and elderly adults engage in sensory reweighting under conditions of visual anticipation. Sixteen healthy elderly (age: 71.5±4.9 years; height: 159.3±6.6 cm; mass: 73.3±3.3 kg) and 20 young (age: 22.8±3.3 years; height: 174.4±10.7 cm; mass: 70.1±13.9 kg) participants stood for 240 s on a force platform under two experimental conditions: quiet standing and standing while anticipating randomly approaching virtual objects to be avoided. During both tasks, the visual surround changed every 60 s from a stationary virtual scene (room) to either a moving room or darkness and then back to a stationary scene to evoke sensory reweighting processes. In quiet standing, elderly showed greater sway variability and were more severely affected by the removal or degradation of visual surround information when compared to young participants. During visual anticipation, sway variability was not different between the age groups. In addition, both young and elderly participants were similarly affected by the degradation or removal of the visual surround. These findings suggest that sensory reweighting in a dynamic virtual environment that evokes visual anticipation interacts with postural state anxiety regardless of age. Elderly show less efficient sensory reweighting in quiet standing due to greater visual field dependence possibly associated with fear of falling. (Author/publisher)
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