POSTURAL PERTURBATION PRODUCED BY OPTIC FLOW

Open Access
Author:
Donahue, Alyssa Beth
Area of Honors:
Kinesiology
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr Slobounov, Thesis Supervisor
  • Semyon Slobounov, Thesis Supervisor
  • Stephen Jacob Piazza, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • balance
  • virtual reality
  • concussion
  • optic flow
Abstract:
When considering diagnostic measures of traumatic brain injury, virtual reality tests that are sufficiently sensitive enough to reveal subclinical residual effects may help to determine if a concussed athlete is indeed ready to return to play. A series of pilot studies relating postural coherence and optic flow contributed to the design of a specific protocol intended to supplement return to play protocols. The preliminary protocol focused on the creation of a visual pulse introduced in a virtual reality setting originating from Lee’s moving room paradigm. Foot stance and phase of the pulse introduced were varied to investigate the effects on postural stability. After concluding that the Romberg stance and out of phase pulses maximally induce postural instability, a specific protocol involving three asymptomatic students aimed to test the effects of varying pulse frequency and predictability on time to recovery of postural coherence. Pulse frequencies of 0.2 and 0.4 Hz were found to induce the longest time to recovery of postural coherence and thus will be utilized in the development of future studies comparing TBI subjects. Specifically, clinical implications involve the implementation of the specific protocol into current return to play protocols.