Sensory Interactions for Human Balance Control Revealed by Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation

  • Brian L. Day
  • Michel Guerraz
  • Jonathan Cole
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 508)

Abstract

Many types of sensory information are known to contribute to the human balance control process but little is known about how the different sensory channels interact. Here we consider the postural response to a perturbation delivered to the vestibular channel using galvanic vestibular stimulation. We show that the response is modified by the absence of information in the other sensory channels. Removal of somatosensory information leads to a massive increase in response size. Similarly, removal of visual information augments the response. Furthermore, the response size is graded according to the amount of visual information available. These effects occur through two processes. One that influences the developing response through feedback mechanisms and another that influences the initial response selection through gain changes. The latter is described as a competitive process that can be likened to a proportional representation voting system.

Keywords

Neuropathy 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian L. Day
    • 1
  • Michel Guerraz
    • 2
  • Jonathan Cole
    • 3
  1. 1.MRC Human Movement GroupSobell Department, Institute of NeurologyLondonUK
  2. 2.Laboratoire “Sport, Performance, Sante”UFR STAPSMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.Cole, Department of Clinical NeurosciencesUniversity of Southampton and Poole HospitalUK

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