Statokinesigram normalization method

Behav Res Methods. 2017 Feb;49(1):310-317. doi: 10.3758/s13428-016-0706-4.

Abstract

Stabilometry is a technique that aims to study the body sway of human subjects, employing a force platform. The signal obtained from this technique refers to the position of the foot base ground-reaction vector, known as the center of pressure (CoP). The parameters calculated from the signal are used to quantify the displacement of the CoP over time; there is a large variability, both between and within subjects, which prevents the definition of normative values. The intersubject variability is related to differences between subjects in terms of their anthropometry, in conjunction with their muscle activation patterns (biomechanics); and the intrasubject variability can be caused by a learning effect or fatigue. Age and foot placement on the platform are also known to influence variability. Normalization is the main method used to decrease this variability and to bring distributions of adjusted values into alignment. In 1996, O'Malley proposed three normalization techniques to eliminate the effect of age and anthropometric factors from temporal-distance parameters of gait. These techniques were adopted to normalize the stabilometric signal by some authors. This paper proposes a new method of normalization of stabilometric signals to be applied in balance studies. The method was applied to a data set collected in a previous study, and the results of normalized and nonnormalized signals were compared. The results showed that the new method, if used in a well-designed experiment, can eliminate undesirable correlations between the analyzed parameters and the subjects' characteristics and show only the experimental conditions' effects.

Keywords: Anthropometry; Method; Normalization; Stabilometry; Statokinesigram.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anthropometry / methods*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Foot / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Pressure
  • Reference Values