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Thread: Why it is more difficult to maintain balance...

  1. #1 Why it is more difficult to maintain balance... 
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    ..when you close your eyes while on one foot?
    My Human Anatomy/Physiology professor assigned us to find an answer to this question.

    I know it isn't impossible to do but what is it that makes it harder to balance than with your eyes open?


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  3. #2  
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    Think about what it means to balance. Are you generally still or in motion relative to your center of gravity? Think about what siight does for you. How do you best detect motion?


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  4. #3  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    efr100 - Be sure to check out the wiki on the vestibular system.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestibular_system


    You might also check out the page for Vestibulo-ocular reflex:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestibulo-ocular_reflex
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  5. #4  
    Time Lord
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    I find the one foot more interesting than the closed eyes.

    It's not just the loss of stability. There's also a loss of pressure and friction feedback, as in why it's harder to feel the shape of an object with only one hand.

    Incidentally contributing factors in elderly people falling are loss of sensation in the feet, typically worsened by thick orthopedic shoes and inserts.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  6. #5  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Incidentally contributing factors in elderly people falling are loss of sensation in the feet, typically worsened by thick orthopedic shoes and inserts.
    Interesting. I've often wondered if there is a change in viscosity of the inner ear fluid of the elderly, which (in turn) causes the cilia to differentially bend and trigger the neural cascade (much like is proposed in drinking with bed spins... alcohol changes the thickness of the fluid and it screws up our natural sense of balance).
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