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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-20996

Laurens, J; Awai, L; Bockisch, C; Hegemann, S; van Hedel, H J A; Dietz, V; Straumann, D (2010). Visual contribution to postural stability: Interaction between target fixation or tracking and static or dynamic large-field stimulus. Gait & Posture, 31(1):37-41.

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Stationary visual information has a stabilizing effect on posture, whereas moving visual information is destabilizing. We compared the influence of a stationary or moving fixation point to the influence of stationary or moving large-field stimulation, as well as the interaction between a fixation point and a large-field stimulus. We recorded body sway in 20 healthy subjects who were fixating a stationary or oscillating dot (vertical or horizontal motion, 1/3Hz, +/-12 degrees amplitude, distance 96cm). In addition, a large-field random dot pattern (extension: approximately 80x70 degrees ) was stationary, moving or absent. Visual fixation of a stationary dot in darkness did not reduce antero-posterior (AP) sway compared to the situation in total darkness, but slightly reduced lateral sway at frequencies below 0.5Hz. In contrast, fixating a stationary dot on a stationary large-field pattern reduced both AP and lateral body sway at all frequencies (0.1-2Hz). Ocular tracking of the oscillating dot caused a peak in body sway at 1/3Hz, i.e. the stimulus frequency, but there was no influence of large-field stimulus at this frequency. A stationary large-field pattern, however, reduced AP and lateral sway at frequencies between 0.1 and 2Hz when subjects tracked a moving dot, compared to tracking in darkness. Our results demonstrate that a stationary large-field pattern has a stabilizing effect in all conditions, independent of whether the eyes are fixing on a stationary target or tracking a moving target.


12 citations in Web of Science®
13 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Ophthalmology Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Otorhinolaryngology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Date:January 2010
Deposited On:30 Sep 2009 09:07
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:21
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2009.08.241
PubMed ID:19775892

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