Visual reweighting using stroboscopic vision in healthy individuals
Keywords:sensory organization test, balance, Neurocom Balance Master
Testing how individuals use visual information to maintain balance has been traditionally limited to two extreme conditions: eyes closed and eyes open. Stroboscopic glasses allow clinicians to control the amount of visual information that influences balance, varying between eyes open and closed. Seventeen uninjured participants completed the sensory organization test (SOT) under three visual conditions: full occlusion, high occlusion (i.e., 100ms transparent, 400ms opaque), and low occlusion (i.e., 100ms transparent, 100ms opaque). Equilibrium scores were calculated from the Neurocom Balance Master system during double-limb stance and the three-trial average from each condition and SOT was used for analysis. A two-way repeated measures ANOVA was used to evaluate the interaction between and within factors of vision (i.e., full occlusion, high occlusion, low occlusion, and no occlusion) and support surface (i.e., firm and sway). Increased visual occlusion negatively impacts balance on a firm surface and is amplified when somatosensory cues are unreliable. These findings highlight the importance of somatosensory cues as a guiding sensory modality for balance, especially when vision is occluded.