Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes in the Power Spectrum Density (PSD) of the electroencephalography (EEG) in common sensorimotor balance training tasks of varying difficulty. Sensorimotor balance exercises including alteration of vision, base of support or surface compliance are used to improve postural control. These exercises are presumed to induce supraspinal adaptation, however, there were no studies that investigated the power changes of the cortical activity in these static balance tasks. Our objective was to provide evidence in the cortical involvement with the static balance tasks frequently used in sensorimotor training.
Material and methods: Postural sway and EEG changes of alpha, beta and sigma wave bands were measured in seventeen participants during eight balance tasks of varying difficulty with eyes open and closed, feet in tandem or apart and on foam or a firm surface.
Results: The power of beta and sigma bands increased significantly at the parietal and central area of the brain in tasks with eyes open together with one sensory factor (base of support or surface compliance) or two sensory factors (base of support and surface compliance) altered, and in task with three sensory factors (vision, base of support and surface compliance) altered from the control task.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated the cortical involvement in the sensorimotor balance tasks, suggesting that these exercises may induce cortical adaptation for postural control. The results support subcortical control with increased task difficulty and the increase in cortical processing when task became extremely challenging.