Light Touch (LT) has been shown to reduce postural sway in a wide range of populations. While LT is believed to provide additional sensory information for balance modulation, the nature of this information and its specific effect on balance are yet unclear. In order to better understand LT and to potentially harness its advantages for a practical balance aid, we investigated the effect of LT as provided by a haptic robot. Postural sway during standing balance was reduced when the LT force (~ 1 N) applied to the high back area was dependent on the trunk velocity. Additional information on trunk position, provided through orthogonal vibrations, further reduced the sway position-metric of balance but did not further improve the velocity-metric of balance. Our results suggest that limited and noisy information on trunk velocity encoded in LT is sufficient to influence standing balance. © 2019 Saini 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.


Psychological Science

Second Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Robotics; Touch; Trunk; Vibration

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

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© 2019 The Authors, All rights reserved.

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2019

PubMed ID