The effect of vision elimination during quiet stance tasks with different feet positions

Authors: Sarabon N(1,2), Rosker J(2), Loefler S(1), Kern H(1).

Source: Gait Posture. 2013 Apr 5. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 23566634

Keywords: Balance, Body sway, Sensory manipulation, Vision


Literature confirms the effects of vision and stance on body sway and indicates possible interactions between the two. However, no attempts have been made to systematically compare the effect of vision on the different types of stance which are frequently used in clinical and research practice. The biomechanical changes that occur after changing shape and size of the support surface suggest possible sensory re-weighting might take place. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of vision on body sway in relation to different stance configurations and width. Thirty-eight volunteers performed four quiet stance configurations (parallel, semi-tandem, tandem and single leg), repeating them with open and closed eyes. Traditional parameters, recurrence quantification analysis and sample entropy were analyzed from the CoP trajectory signal. Traditional and recurrence quantification analysis parameters were affected by vision removal and stance type. Exceptions were frequency of oscillation, entropy and trapping time. The most prominent effect of vision elimination on traditional parameters was observed for narrower stances. A significant interaction effect between vision removal and stance type was present for most of the parameters observed (p<0.05). The interaction effect between medio-lateral and antero-posterior traditional parameters differed in linearity between stances. The results confirm the effect of vision removal on the body sway. However, for the medio-lateral traditional parameters, the effects did not increase linearly with the change in width and stance type. This suggests that removal of vision could be more effectively compensated by other sensory systems in semi-tandem stance, tandem and single legged stance.


1 Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Electrical Stimulation and Physical Rehabilitation, Wilheminenspital, Montrealstrasse 37, 1160 Vienna, Austria
2 University of Primorska, Science and Research Center, Institute for Kinesiological Research, Garibaldijeva 1, 6000 Koper, Slovenia