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"A Study of the effects of Sensory Sate on Rhesus Monkey Posture"

Science / Technology - Lecture/Discussion - WPI Only

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
4:00 PM-5:00 PM

Gateway Park
GP 1002

Everyday life depends on both the posture and balance needed to maintain stability in that without them we risk falls that result in severe injury. For patients suffering from vestibular (equilibrium) dysfunction, maintaining balance in situations where visual or somatosensory cues are limited can prove difficult. For example, walking at night on an uneven, compliant surface could prove dangerous or, in some instances, fatal for a vestibular loss patient. Thus, development of invasive vestibular prostheses could assist in providing the cues necessary for postural stability of vestibulopathic patients. This presentation addresses the characterization of postural control for the rhesus monkey for various sensory states (i.e. normal, both mild and severe vestibular loss, and severe vestibular loss assisted by a prototype vestibular prosthesis).
Rhesus monkey posture was characterized by use of a balance platform, equipped with tri-directional force sensors, and by motion sensors affixed to the animal's head and torso. Three paradigms were used to quantify postural response: 1) quiet stance, wherein the balance platform was static 2) head turns to illuminated targets, and 3) for a dynamic, roll-tilt input applied to the balance platform. It was determined that, in comparison to the normal postural response, mild vestibular ablation led to stiffening compensation which could decrease sway, however, more severe vestibular ablation led to increased sway. Also, in comparing severe vestibular ablated responses to those assisted by prosthetic stimulation, it was determined that the prosthesis had an effect on high frequency motions (e.g. head turns). By understanding the effects of implementing the implant in a non-human primate (i.e. rhesus monkey), hypotheses regarding the effects of an invasive vestibular implant in the human were formed for future testing.

Suggested Audiences: Elders, Adult, College

E-mail: bme-web@wpi.edu

Last Modified: January 16, 2013 at 2:13 PM

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