Effect of head extension on equilibrium in normal subjects.Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1991 Jan; 100(1):63-7.AO
A dynamic posturography system was used to test the effect of 55 degrees head extension on postural sway in 20 normal subjects. There was a highly significant increase in sway with head extension under two conditions; in both, the support surface moves proportionally to body sway angle (sway-referenced feedback). The largest increase in sway occurred when the eyes were closed and the support surface was sway-referenced. This latter condition removes vision, reduces the effectiveness of ankle proprioception, and forces the subject to depend mostly on vestibular information for equilibrium. We suggest that head extension increases sway because the utricular otoliths are put into a disadvantageous position. This may be another example of the role of utricular input in the control of balance.