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The effect of visual-vestibulosomatosensory conflict induced by virtual reality on postural stability in humans

, : The effect of visual-vestibulosomatosensory conflict induced by virtual reality on postural stability in humans. Journal of Medical Investigation 60(3-4): 236-239

In this study, we examined the effects of sensory inputs of visual-vestibulosomatosensory conflict induced by virtual reality (VR) on subjective dizziness, posture stability and visual dependency on postural control in humans. Eleven healthy young volunteers were immersed in two different VR conditions. In the control condition, subjects walked voluntarily with the background images of interactive computer graphics proportionally synchronized to their walking pace. In the visual-vestibulosomatosensory conflict condition, subjects kept still, but the background images that subjects experienced in the control condition were presented. The scores of both Graybiel's and Hamilton's criteria, postural instability and Romberg ratio were measured before and after the two conditions. After immersion in the conflict condition, both subjective dizziness and objective postural instability were significantly increased, and Romberg ratio, an index of the visual dependency on postural control, was slightly decreased. These findings suggest that sensory inputs of visual-vestibulosomatosensory conflict induced by VR induced motion sickness, resulting in subjective dizziness and postural instability. They also suggest that adaptation to the conflict condition decreases the contribution of visual inputs to postural control with re-weighing of vestibulosomatosensory inputs. VR may be used as a rehabilitation tool for dizzy patients by its ability to induce sensory re-weighing of postural control.


PMID: 24190041

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