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The Effect of Vibrotactile Feedback on Healthy People and People with Vestibular Disorders during Dual-task Conditions

Lin, Chia-Cheng (2014) The Effect of Vibrotactile Feedback on Healthy People and People with Vestibular Disorders during Dual-task Conditions. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Vibrotactile feedback (VTF) has been shown to improve balance performance in healthy people and people with vestibular disorders in a single-task experimental condition. However, typical balance activities occur in a multi-task environment. Dual-task performance can degrade with age and in people with vestibular disorders. It is unclear if the ability to use VTF might be affected by dual-task conditions in different age groups and people with vestibular disorders. The purposes of this dissertation are to investigate in healthy young and older adults, and people with vestibular disorders: 1) balance performance in a dual-task paradigm under various sensory conditions while using VTF, 2) reaction time during dual-task performance under different sensory conditions while using VTF, and 3) the effect of testing duration and visit on VTF use.
Three study visits were included in this dissertation study: one screening visit and two experimental visits. Twenty younger and twenty older subjects were recruited in the first study to determine if VTF was affected by age. Seven people with unilateral vestibular hypofunction (UVH) and seven age-matched controls were recruited in the second study to investigate the effect of vestibular dysfunction.
The results showed that young and older adults use VTF differently, depending on the underlying sensory integration balance task. Older adults increased postural sway during fixed platform conditions, but both young and older adults decreased postural sway during sway-referenced platform conditions. Reaction times on the secondary cognitive tasks increased more while using the VTF in older adults compared with young adults. This finding suggested that using VTF requires greater attention in older adults. The trial duration and visit also affected postural sway performance while VTF was applied. Similar postural sway results were found when comparing people with UVH and age-matched controls. However, no group difference was found between people with UVH and age-matched controls in the magnitude of postural sway, which suggested that people with UVH were able to use VTF under dual-task conditions similar to normal adults. Our data also indicated that people with UVH require more attentional resources to perform secondary cognitive tasks while using VTF.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lin, Chia-Chengchl106@pitt.eduCHL106
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWhitney, Susan Lwhitney@pitt.eduWHITNEY
Committee MemberSparto, Patrick
Committee MemberFurman, Joseph Mfurmanjm@upmc.eduFURMAN
Committee MemberLoughlin, Patrick Jloughlin@pitt.eduLOUGHLIN
Committee MemberRedfern, Mark Sredfern@pitt.eduREDFERN
Date: 13 January 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 26 November 2013
Approval Date: 13 January 2014
Submission Date: 3 December 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 146
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Vibrotactile Feedback, Aging, Vestibular Disorders, Postural sway, Reaction Time, Dual-task
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2014 19:15
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:41


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