Fisioterapia e Pesquisa
Print version ISSN 1809-2950
LOPES, Andrei Guilherme; RAZUK, Milena and BARELA, José Angelo. Effects of visual stimulus manipulation and of intention on postural oscillation of elderly women. Fisioter. Pesqui. [online]. 2009, vol.16, n.1, pp. 52-58. ISSN 1809-2950. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1809-29502009000100010.
This study examined the influence of both visual stimulus features and intention on postural control responses due to visual manipulation of elderly women. Twenty participants stood upright inside a moving room, for seven trials for 1 min apiece, staring at a fixed target, their body sway being measured. The room was not moved during the first trial, but from the second trial on, it was continuously oscillated back and forward. For ten participants, the moving room oscillated with peak velocity of 0.6 cm/s and for the others, with peak velocity of 1.0 cm/s. From the fifth trial on, participants were informed about the movement of the room and instructed to resist to its influence. Results show that body sway is induced by visual manipulation in elderly adults. Intention and change in visual stimulus lead to less influence of the visual information on body sway, but changes in the stimulus properties (velocity, for that matter), is less effective than intention. This higher dependency on intention for changing sensory influence on postural control suggests that postural control in elderly adults does not benefit from "automatic" postural responses due to small environmental changes. Tips and information about such kind of environmental changes should be used in order to make up for such difference in automatic adjustments observed in the elderly.
Keywords : Aged; Posture; Visual perception; Women.