Effect of the vestibular system on search and fall behaviour of human postural sway

Cengiz, Berat Can
In a person's daily life, upright stance is a very essential postural position for using hands, locomotion, communication, etc. These motivations probably help a baby to solve this complex motor task faster. A healthy individual is thought to maintain his/her upright posture mainly by the help of four senses: vestibular, proprioception, vision, and somatosensory. With a classical view, human upright posture control mechanism is approached as a control system with multi inputs almost single output (CoPx). However, it is not only a classical mechanical control system with sensory inputs but also an actively acting system to drive perceptual information for exploring its environment. In this thesis, these active movements, with low-frequency characteristics, performed by healthy control subjects were named as a search (benign) behavior while the rapid corrections, with high-frequency characteristics, performed by bilateral vestibular loss (BVL) patients were named as a fall (malign) behavior. The contribution of the vestibular system to postural control was examined comparing the quiet stance CoPx signals of BVL and healthy subjects measured in different eye and surface conditions. Finally, results was discussed with an ecological perspective. 


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Human upright posture is essential for people during daily activities. Upright posture is a skill, which is acquired before walking during the human development. Classically defined five senses (as the sense of kinesthesia is not included) are not enough to obtain this difficult and important skill. Thus, the humans need another group of senses; i.e., proprioception, vestibular sensor, joint receptors etc. to achieve the upright posture. In this thesis, two distinct stimulations were given to the subjects t...
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Posture control to maintain the stability of upright posture is a very complex task. It requires sensorimotor integration of all sense organs. If one of these organs loses its functionality, the person may have difficulties in maintaining postural balance. This study examines the difference in postural responses of patients with bilateral vestibular loss and healthy subjects to sinusoidal tilts. It has shown that center of mass(CoM) motions of control and patient groups were similar respect to space coordin...
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Human posture control is accompanied usually in daily life with other tasks, such as cognitive tasks. This thesis is on the effects of cognitive task difficulty on postural control, the postural control mechanisms, attention and its relation to posture control and finally the dual task environments for posture control. The experiment’s set an individualized difficulty level for each participant. Results indicate that when motor and challenging cognitive tasks are completed under dual task conditions, dual t...
Foot Somatosensory Information Contributes To Quiet Stance
Hassanpour, Seyedehmaryam; Gürses, Senih; Hohenberger, Annette Edeltraud; Department of Engineering Sciences (2016)
Most of the posture and balance studies have mentioned that in human beings, balance is achieved and maintained by a complex set of control systems that include sensory input from vision (sight), proprioceptive sensors of the muscles, somatosensory senses from skin receptors (touch), and the vestibular system (motion, equilibrium, spatial orientation). Based on previous studies, postural movement strategies are known to be highly affected by both somatosensory and vestibular information [23]. The present st...
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Carlak, Renan Arda; Gürses, Senih; Department of Engineering Sciences (2019)
The aim of the study is to investigate the effect of Achilles tendon vibration (ATV) on postural sway behavior and backward body tilt (fall) response at adapting to different sensory conditions. The effect of anticipation on postural responses during ATV is also examined. Two different somatosensory environments are created which are without and with bodily somatosensory (touch) cue, respectively. In these different sensory environments, bipedal quiet stand test is applied on a force platform in both eyes-o...
Citation Formats
B. C. Cengiz, “Effect of the vestibular system on search and fall behaviour of human postural sway,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2017.