Destabilization of human balance control by static and dynamic head tilts.Gait Posture. 2006 Apr; 23(3):315-23.GP
To better understand the effects of varying head movement frequencies on human balance control, 12 healthy adult humans were studied during static and dynamic (0.14, 0.33, 0.6 Hz) head tilts of +/- 30 degrees in the pitch and roll planes. Postural sway was measured during upright stance with eyes closed and altered somatosensory inputs provided by a computerized dynamic posturography (CDP) system. Subjects were able to maintain upright stance with static head tilts, although postural sway was increased during neck extension. Postural stability was decreased during dynamic head tilts, and the degree of destabilization varied directly with increasing frequency of head tilt. In the absence of vision and accurate foot support surface inputs, postural stability may be compromised during dynamic head tilts due to a decreased ability of the vestibular system to discern the orientation of gravity. This instability may compound the risk of falling following recovery from balance disorders or adaptation to altered gravity conditions such as space flight. Thus, dynamic head tilts may improve the diagnostic sensitivity of computerized dynamic posturography, particularly for healthy subjects recovering from temporary balance control deficits.