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Objective and subjective influence of audition on vestibulospinal coordination
18 April 2018 (online)
There is a growing body of evidence that, in addition to vestibular, proprioceptive and visual information, also auditory cues contribute to balance control. However, there is still limited knowledge about audiovestibular interaction mechanisms.
Normal hearing healthy subjects (n = 30) performed the Unterberger (Fukuda) stepping test with and without sound presentation in a soundproofed audio booth. The longitudinal displacement, the angular deviation and the angle of rotation were measured by the means of ultrasound based cranio-corpo-graphy (CCG). Objective test results were compared to subjective evaluation about the influence of sound presentation.
With auditory input, we could see a clear reduction of longitudinal displacement (p < 0,001) and angle of rotation (p < 0,001), compared to the silent situation. No significant difference could be seen regarding the angular deviation (p = 0,641). Individual tendency of rotation seemed to be reinforced in the absence of sound. A discrepancy could be observed between objective test results and subjective evaluation.
We could prove a positive influence of auditory input on vestibulospinal coordination. Differentiating endpoint analysis and the comparison of objective and subjective results revealed new findings leading to a deeper understanding of audiovestibular corrective mechanisms.