Volume 127 (2007) Issue 10 Pages 1800-1805
Previous studies have reported gaze influences on body sway direction in response to neck-dorsal-muscles stimulation (NS). In this study, we analyzed effects of gaze and auditory stimulation using tibialis anterior stimulation (TAS), gastrocnemius stimulation (GAS) or NS. From 21 subjects, the centre of pressure was measured and then the body sway direction during the stimulation was calculated. Each subject performed two trials in each of six gaze orientations. Nine subjects whose sway direction was markedly changed by the stimulation performed additional four trials. A comparison of the influences induced by the three methods revealed no statistical difference between NS and TAS. Three out of the nine subjects and another four took part in the auditory experiment. The three subjects showed significant changes in the sway direction. These results suggest that inconsistency among the sensory inputs around head plays only a minor role for reorienting the direction of postural sway and that a higher brain function is possibly involved in the mechanism for the sway direction change.