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Cerebral cortex role in tasks involving gaze and postural control

Grant number: 18/02808-9
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): July 26, 2018
Effective date (End): July 25, 2019
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physical Education
Principal Investigator:Paula Fávaro Polastri Zago
Grantee:Paula Fávaro Polastri Zago
Host: William Mcilroy
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências (FC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Bauru. Bauru , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Waterloo, Canada  

Abstract

Postural control is a complex and dynamic sensorimotor task that involves achieving the desired orientation and equilibrium in a given environmental condition. Postural control requires the ability to perform neuromuscular adjustments to maintain the center of pressure (COP) within the stability limits of the support base. Recent studies have shown high-level cortical activations during standing still correlated with COP's "automatic" compensatory and automatic adjustments to maintain stability. Moreover, these cortical processes seem to change in different contexts and postural tasks. In particular, eye movement seems to be associated with changes in stability when support bases and difficulties of visual tasks are more challenging for the postural control system suggesting interference from higher centers in automatic postural responses. The purpose of this study, therefore, will be to investigate the role of the cerebral cortex during the maintenance of standing posture while performing different postural and visual tasks. Investigating these central mechanisms can advance the understanding of the functioning of the postural control system and provide subsidies to assist individuals who have disorders in balance either by illness and injury or just by the natural process of aging.