Interaction between vision and neck proprioception in the control of stance

M. Bove, C. Fenoggio, A. Tacchino, E. Pelosin, M. Schieppati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Balance control depends on the interaction of multiple inputs originating from different sensory systems. Here, we investigated the effect on quiet human stance of changing the visual condition prior to a proprioceptive perturbation produced by vibration of dorsal neck muscles. In complete absence of visual references, the amplitude of the postural responses to neck vibration (forward shift of the centre of foot pressure) was the largest and became progressively larger as a function of the repetition of administered stimuli. The posture-destabilizing effect of vibration eyes-closed (EC) and the build-up effect were reduced if vibration was preceded by a period during which vision was allowed (EO). Similarly, the small destabilizing effect of vibration EO was increased if vibration was preceded by an EC period. The fore-period must last more than 3 s in order to affect the response to neck muscle vibration. The responsiveness to a proprioceptive disturbing input does not immediately change on adding or subtracting vision, but a finite time period must elapse before the postural "set" defined by vision is fully established. The findings underline the importance of time when vision is used in re-weighting the excitability of the postural control mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1601-1608
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 29 2009


  • cephalic segment
  • posture
  • proprioception
  • sensorimotor integration
  • vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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