Controlling posture using a plantar pressure-based, tongue-placed tactile biofeedback system
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The present paper introduces an original biofeedback system for improving human balance control, whose underlying principle consists in providing additional sensory information related to foot sole pressure distribution to the user through a tongue-placed tactile output device. To assess the effect of this biofeedback system on postural control during quiet standing, ten young healthy adults were asked to stand as immobile as possible with their eyes closed in two conditions of No-biofeedback and Biofeedback. Centre of foot pressure (CoP) displacements were recorded using a force platform. Results showed reduced CoP displacements in the Biofeedback relative to the No-biofeedback condition. The present findings evidenced the ability of the central nervous system to efficiently integrate an artificial plantar-based, tongue-placed tactile biofeedback for controlling control posture during quiet standing.
KeywordsBalance Biofeedback Tongue display unit Plantar pressure Centre of foot pressure
The authors are indebted to Professor Paul Bach-y-Rita for introducing us to the TDU and for discussions about sensory substitution. The authors would like to thank subject volunteers. The company Vista Medical is acknowledged for supplying the FSA Inshoe Foot pressure mapping system. This research was supported by the Fondation Garches, the company IDS and Floralis (Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble). Special thanks also are extended to P. Lashatte and F. Rerberthom for various contributions.
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