Background: The vibration-induced postural reaction paradigm (VIB-PR) offers a unique way for investigating sensorimotor control mechanisms. Measures of VIB-PR are usually calculated from the whole VIB period, yet recent evidence proposed that distinctive mechanisms are likely at play between the early vs. later phases of the postural reaction.
Objectives: The present work verified if spatiotemporal analyses of center of pressure (COP) displacements can detect differences between these early/later phases of VIB-PR. Also, we further characterized the intra/inter-individual variability of COP measurements, since the underlying variability of VIB-PR remains largely unexplored.
Methods: Twenty young volunteers realized two experimental conditions of bipodal stance with eyes closed: (i) bilateral VIB of tibialis anterior (TIB) and (ii) Achilles' (ACH) tendons. Each condition consisted of five trials and lasted 30 s as follows: 10 s baseline, 10 s VIB and 10 s post-VIB. Linear COP variables (antero-posterior (AP) amplitude & velocity) were computed for both VIB and post-VIB periods using the following time-windows: early 2 s, the later 8 s and the whole 10 s duration. Intra- and inter-individual variability were respectively estimated using the standard error of the measurement and the coefficient of variation. Both variability metrics were obtained using five vs. the first three trials.
Results: Significant contrasts were found between time-windows for both VIB and post-VIB periods. COP variables were generally higher during the early 2 s phase compared to the later 8 s phase for both TIB [mean difference between 8 s- 2 s phases: Amplitude AP = -1.11 ± 1.14 cm during VIB and -2.99 ± 1.31 during post-VIB; Velocity AP = -1.17 ± 0.86 cm/s during VIB and -3.13 ± 1.31 cm/s during post-VIB] and ACH tendons [Amplitude AP = -0.37 ± 0.98 cm during VIB and -3.41 ± 1.20 during post-VIB; Velocity AP = -0.31 ± 0.59 cm/s during VIB and -3.89 ± 1.52 cm/s during post-VIB]. Most within- and between-subject variability scores were below 30% and using three instead of five trials had no impact on variability. VIB-PR patterns were quite similar within a same person, but variable behaviors were observed between individuals during the later phase.
Conclusion: Our study highlights the relevance of identifying and separately analyzing distinct phases within VIB-PR patterns, as well as characterizing how these patterns vary at the individual level.
Copyright: © 2023 Kadri et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.