To maintain balance and prevent destabilization, humans utilize anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs) prior to the postural perturbations based on predictions and past experience. APAs involve the activation and inhibition of the trunk and leg muscles and a shift of the center-of-pressure (COP) position. The generation of APAs majorly relies on the availability and accuracy of visual information. However, our previous work showed that young adults could rely on an auditory cue only to generate APAs for an external perturbation similar to that when the visual information was available. Older adults generally have diminished APAs and consequently diminished postural control when postural perturbations occur. In this study, we aimed to train older adults to rely on an auditory cue to generate APAs in response to an external perturbation, and examine the retention of this learning effect after 1 week.
Liang H, Kaewmanee T, Aruin AS. Older Adults Retain the Ability to Predict External Perturbations Using Auditory Cues Only. Virtual poster presentation at the 44th American Society of Biomechanics annual meeting (online due to the COVID-19 pandemic), August 4-7, 2020.