Date of Award
Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)
Tara L. Alvarez
Jonathan M. Grasman
In order to study the human brain in a non-invasive way, the vestibular and oculomotor systems have been analyzed simultaneously. To achieve this, an eye movement and balance assessment was conducted for 29 (23 male; 21.6 ± 3.8 years) healthy participants with no history of concussions, brain injuries, vertigo, migraines, brain surgeries, eye surgeries, or amblyopia. The tasks consisted of eyes open, eyes closed, horizontal saccades, vertical saccades, vergence jumps, horizontal vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR), and vertical VOR. Each task was completed in two stances: feet shoulder width apart and feet together. Distance, velocity, sway area, center of pressure (COP) frequency, and number of eye movements were of interest. The findings indicate that only VOR movements are strongly correlated with COP frequency (p < 0.035). The lowest peak COP frequency recorded, 0.5 Hz, was present across all tasks. These healthy participants exhibited a high endurance, which is the ability to perform at a consistent activity for some amount of time, in regard to the first half and second half of one task are statistically insignificant (p > 0.112). A wide stance has been found to positively effect postural stability compared to a narrow stance.
Martin, Cassandra, "The interconnection of the vestibular and oculomotor systems analyzed in healthy young adults by examining postural sway" (2022). Theses. 1999.