This study had the following specific aims:
A control subject database was augmented to 45 subjects that have the same test of performance. Using information from these tests, data show that subjects' utilization of somatosensory information at the bottom of the feet and at the ankle joints were predictive of the ability to adapt to novel sensorimotor disturbance during walking. Further, the SNP in BDNF and DRD2 showed the ability to delineate subjects' ability to adapt to visuomotor disturbance during walking.
A control-subject group study (n=58) conducted at the University of Houston explored the link between adaptation in manual control and the classical split-belt treadmill locomotor adaptation task. Data showed a significant linear relationship between the number of attempts required to achieve adaptation in the two tasks. These data confirm the notion that a common central adaptive mechanism is employed across sensorimotor sub-systems.
A control subject study (n=34) at the University of Michigan investigated whether individual variability in the rate of visuomotor manual adaptation is associated with differences in regional gray matter volume and resting state functional connectivity. Resting state functional connectivity strength between sensorimotor, dorsal cingulate, and temporoparietal regions of the brain was found to predict the rate of learning during the early phase of the adaptation task. As for structural predictors, greater gray matter volume in temporoparietal and occipital regions predicted faster early learning, whereas greater gray matter volume in superior posterior regions of the cerebellum predicted faster late learning. These findings confirm that neural predictors of early and late adaptation may facilitate different aspects of sensorimotor adaptation that may be targeted by countermeasures.
A study conducted on people with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) explored the interaction between visual dependence and balance control. Control subjects with poor balance scores had significantly greater visual dependence, indicating reliance on visual cues can affect balance control. The side of impairment was strongly related to the side of perceived bias in the Earth vertical determined by BPPV subjects, indicating a relationship between the effect of BPPV with spatial orientation perception.
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