Saccades Improve Postural Control: A Developmental Study in Normal Children

Abstract : Introduction :Dual-task performance is known to affect postural stability in children. This study focused on the effect ofoculomotor tasks like saccadic eye movements on postural stability, studied in a large population of children by recording simultaneously their eye movements and posture. Materials and Methods : Ninety-five healthy children from 5.8 to 17.6 years old were examined. All children were free of any vestibular, neurological, ophtalmologic and orthoptic abnormalities. Postural control was measured with a force platform Techno ConceptH, and eye movements with video oculography (MobilEBTH). Children performed two oculomotor tasks:fixation of a stable central target and horizontal saccades. We measured the saccade latency and the number of saccadesduring fixation as well as the surface, length and mean velocity of the center of pressure. Results : During postural measurement, we observed a correlation between the age on the one hand and a decrease insaccade latency as well as an improvement in the quality of fixation on the other. Postural sway decreases with age and isreduced in the dual task (saccades) in comparison with a simple task of fixation. Discussion - Conclusion:These results suggest a maturation of neural circuits controlling posture and eye movements during childhood. This study also shows the presence of an interaction between the oculomotor system and the postural system. Engaging in oculomotor tasks results in a reduction of postural sway
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Layla Ajrezo, Sylvette Wiener-Vacher, Maria Pia Bucci. Saccades Improve Postural Control: A Developmental Study in Normal Children. Psicologia USP, Universidade de São Paulo, 2013, 8 (11), pp.e81066. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0081066⟩. ⟨hal-02351464⟩



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