Nav: Home

Virtual reality could improve your balance, study finds

March 18, 2019

Vision changes can entail major problems in everyday life. To a high degree, vision affects our ability to keep our balance, and balance affects our ability to move around.

"People with long-term dizziness sometimes rely a lot on their vision and do not use the very quick and effective balance system provided by sensory information from joints and muscles. This can intensify feelings of dizziness, which is very unpleasant. The new study shows a possible treatment method for these conditions", says Eva Ekvall Hansson, researcher and associate professor of physiotherapy at Lund University.

Twenty healthy women and men took part in the study, in which they watched a Virtual Reality (VR) simulation of a roller-coaster ride while standing on a platform which registered their postural stability. The researchers investigated how the participants' balance system was affected when visual information was disrupted by the experience of being in a VR environment which gave them a strong sensation of being in movement.

The study shows that the human balance system can very quickly cease to rely on vision and use other senses instead, such as sensory information from the feet, joints and muscles to increase postural stability. Differences also emerged in how men and women are affected by watching a VR video. More women had difficulty maintaining their balance in a VR environment and they generally needed more practice before they learnt to use their other senses to increase postural stability.

"VR can thus be an effective tool in rehabilitation, to train the patient's ability to rely on senses other than vision to keep their balance. However, some women may need additional practice to achieve the same effect as men in the rehabilitation of certain types of injuries related to vision", says Måns Magnusson, professor of otorhinolaryngology research at Lund University and consultant physician at Skåne university hospital.

"We know that older people, to a greater extent than young people, use vision to maintain postural stability. The lessons from this study will therefore be an important incentive to introduce new training methods for the older, for example using VR technology to prevent falls", concludes Eva Ekvall Hansson.
-end-
WATCH how the study was performed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mleVa-eqcJY&feature=youtu.be

Lund University

Related Rehabilitation Articles:

An artificial skin that can help rehabilitation and enhance virtual reality
EPFL scientists have developed a soft artificial skin that provides haptic feedback and -- thanks to a sophisticated self-sensing mechanism -- has the potential to instantaneously adapt to a wearer's movements.
Dynamic reorganization of brain circuit with post-stroke rehabilitation
Nagoya City University researchers have revealed an interaction between cortico-brainstem pathways during training-induced recovery in stroke model rats.
Cardiac rehabilitation: Preliminary results
In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications volume 4, issue 2, pp.
Home-based cardiac rehabilitation is an option to overcome barriers of traditional cardiac rehabilitation
Home-based cardiac rehabilitation may be an option for many who would benefit from cardiac rehabilitation after a heart attack or other heart procedure but can't attend medical center-based programs.
Rehabilitation psychologists: #SayTheWord disability
A group of female rehabilitation psychologists with disabilities highlight the need for clinicians, educators and disability allies to normalize the word 'disability.'
More Rehabilitation News and Rehabilitation Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...