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Title: Attention and sensory processing for balance
Author: Clapp, S. A.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis investigates the role of attention in sensory processing for the maintenance of balance. A review of relevant literature suggests that a method for quantifying the efficiency of sensory processing for balance performance that can result from concurrent attentional demands, the conventional centre-of-pressure (CoP) measures. An approach originally used by Jeka and Lackner (1994) to investigate processing of somatosensory input for balance is adopted. The application of this new method to the investigation of information processing used to examine the temporal relationship between tactile sensory input (shear forces detected at the fingertip) and subsequent corrective postural responses. An initial investigation extended the findings of Jeka and Lackner to normal stance (their cross-correlation findings had been restricted to unstable stance). Results from a further study showed that measures obtained using this procedure were affected by concurrent performance of a cognitive task. In a study involving a prosthetic-limb user, cross-correlation measures indicated that sensory information for balance could be mediated via the artificial limb. A detailed single case study is provided in the fourth experimental chapter, involving a patient whose balance deteriorates under cognitive load. A dual-task paradigm was employed to explore the source of the interference. Cross-correlation methods provided evidence of slowed sensory-motor processing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available