Performing Saccadic Eye Movements or Blinking Improves Postural Control

in Motor Control
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To determine the relationship between eye movement and postural control on an undisturbed upright stance maintenance protocol, 15 young, healthy individuals were tested in various conditions. These conditions included imposed blinking patterns and horizontal and vertical saccadic eye movements. The directions taken by the center of pressure (CP) were recorded via a force platform on which the participants remained in an upright position. The CP trajectories were used to estimate, via a low-pass filter, the vertically projected movements of the center of gravity (CGv) and consequently the difference CP-CGv. An analysis of the frequency shows that regular bilateral blinking does not produce a significant change in postural control. In contrast, performing saccadic eye movements induces some reduced amplitude for both basic CGv and CP-CGv movements principally along the antero-posterior axis. The present result supports the theory that some ocular movements may modify postural control in the maintenance of the upright standing position in human participants.

The authors are with the Laboratoire de Modélisation des Activités Sportives, UFR CISM, Université de Savoie, Domaine Scientifique de Savoie-Technolac, F 73 376 Le Bourget du Lac, France.

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