Postural control adaptation and habituation during vibratory proprioceptive stimulation: an HD-EEG investigation of cortical recruitment and kinematics

Fabio Barollo, Run Frioriksdottir, Kyle J. Edmunds, Gunnar H. Karlsson, Halldor A. Svansson, Mahmoud Hassan, Antonio Fratini, Hannes Petersen, Paolo Gargiulo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of the present work is to measure postural kinematics and power spectral variation from HD-EEG to assess changes in cortical activity during adaptation and habituation to postural perturbation. To evoke proprioceptive postural perturbation, vibratory stimulation at 85 Hz was applied to the calf muscles of 33 subjects over four 75-second stimulation periods. Stimulation was performed according to a pseudorandom binary sequence. Vibratory impulses were synchronized to high-density electroencephalography (HD-EEG, 256 channels). Changes in absolute spectral power (ASP) were analyzed over four frequency bands (Δ: 0.5-3.5 Hz; θ: 3.5-7.5 Hz; α: 7.5-12.5 Hz; β: 12.5-30 Hz). A force platform recorded torque actuated by the feet, and normalized sway path length (SPL) was computed as a construct for postural performance during each period. SPL values indicated improvement in postural performance over the trial periods. Significant variation in absolute power values (ASP) was found in assessing postural adaptation: an increase in θ band ASP in the frontal-central region for closed-eyes trials, an increase in θ and β band ASP in the parietal region for open-eyes trials. In habituation, no significant variations in ASP were observed during closed-eyes trials, whereas an increase in θ, α, and β band ASP was observed with open eyes. Furthermore, open-eyed trials generally yielded a greater number of significant ASP differences across all bands during both adaptation and habituation, suggesting that following cortical activity during postural perturbation may be up-regulated with the availability of visual feedback. These results altogether provide deeper insight into pathological postural control failure by exploring the dynamic changes in both cortical activity and postural kinematics during adaptation and habituation to proprioceptive postural perturbation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9069925
Pages (from-to)1381-1388
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Issue number6
Early online date17 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

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  • Balance
  • HD-EEG
  • cerebral cortex
  • kinematics
  • postural control
  • power spectral density


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