Differing effects of prosaccades and antisaccades on postural stability
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The goal of the study was to examine the effect of different types of eye movements on postural stability. Ten healthy young adults (25 ± 3 years) participated in the study. Postural control was measured by the TechnoConcept© platform and recorded in Standard Romberg and Tandem Romberg conditions while participants performed five oculomotor tasks: two fixation tasks (central fixation cross, without and with distractors), two prosaccade tasks toward peripheral targets displayed 4° to the left or to the right of the fixation cross (reactive saccades induced by a gap 0 ms paradigm and voluntary saccades induced by an overlap 600 ms paradigm) and one antisaccade task (voluntary saccade made in the opposite direction of the visual target). The surface, the length, and the mean speed of the center of pressure were analyzed. We found that saccadic eye movements improved postural stability with respect to the fixation tasks. Furthermore, antisaccades were found to decrease postural stability compared to prosaccades (reactive as well as voluntary saccades). This result is in line with the U-shaped nonlinear model described by Lacour et al. (Neurophysiol Clin 38:411–421, 2008), showing that a secondary task performed during a postural task could increase (prosaccade task) or decrease (antisacade task) postural stability depending on its complexity. We suggest that the different degree of attentional resources needed for performing prosaccade or antisaccade tasks are, most likely, responsible for the different effect on postural control.
KeywordsPosture Eye movements Antisaccades Prosaccades Dual-task
Agathe Legrand was supported by the prize of “Association Posture et Equilibre,” Grenoble 2010.
Conflict of interest
Authors have no financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence or bias their work in this study.
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