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.
Saini, A., Burns, D. M., Emmett, D., & Song, Y. S. (2019). Trunk Velocity-Dependent Light Touch Reduces Postural Sway during Standing. PLoS ONE, 14(11)
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0224943
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
Robotics; Touch; Trunk; Vibration
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Journal
© 2019 The Authors, All rights reserved.
Creative Commons Licensing
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.