Attentional demands associated with augmented visual feedback during quiet standing


To investigate how additional visual feedback (VFB) affects postural stability we compared 20-sec center-of-pressure (COP) recordings in two conditions: without and with the VFB. Seven healthy adult subjects performed 10 trials lasting 20 seconds in each condition. Simultaneously, during all trials the simple auditory reaction time (RT) was measured. Based on the COP data, the following sway parameters were computed: standard deviation (SD), mean speed (MV), sample entropy (SE), and mean power frequency (MPF). The RT was higher in the VFB condition (p < 0.001) indicating that this condition was attention demanding. The VFB resulted in decreased SD and increased SE in both the medial-lateral (ML) and anterior-posterior (AP) planes (p < .001). These results account for the efficacy of the VFB in stabilizing posture and in producing more irregular COP signals which may be interpreted as higher automaticity and/or larger level of noise in postural control. The MPF was higher during VFB in both planes as was the MV in the AP plane only (p < 0.001). The latter data demonstrate higher activity of postural control system that was caused by the availability of the set-point on the screen and the resulting control error which facilitated and sped up postural control.

In PeerJ