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Comparative Study
. 2008 Aug 22;8(11):15.1-10.
doi: 10.1167/8.11.15.

Development of Visually Driven Postural Reactivity: A Fully Immersive Virtual Reality Study

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Comparative Study

Development of Visually Driven Postural Reactivity: A Fully Immersive Virtual Reality Study

Selma Greffou et al. J Vis. .
Free article

Abstract

The objective of this study was to investigate the development of visually driven postural regulation in typically developing children of different ages. Thirty-two typically developing participants from 5 age groups (5-7 years, 8-11 years, 12-15 years, 16-19 years, or 20-25 years) were asked to stand within a virtual tunnel that oscillated in an anterior-posterior fashion at three different frequencies (0.125, 0.25, and 0.5 Hz). Body sway (BS) and postural perturbations (as measured by velocity root mean squared or vRMS) were measured. Most of the 5- to 7-year-old participants (67%) were unable to remain standing during the dynamic conditions. For older participants, BS decreased significantly with age for all frequencies. Moreover, vRMS decreased significantly from the 8- to 11- through 16- to 19-years age groups (greatest decreases for 0.5 Hz, followed by 0.25-Hz and 0.125-Hz conditions). No difference of frequency or instability was found between the 16- to 19- and 20- to 25-year-old groups for most conditions. Results suggest an over-reliance on visual input relative to proprioceptive and vestibular inputs on postural regulation at young ages (5-7 years). The finding that vRMS decreased significantly with age before stabilizing between 16 and 19 years suggests an important transitory period for sensorimotor development within this age range.

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