Visual-somatosensory integration and balance: Evidence for psychophysical integrative differences in aging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research detailing multisensory integration (MSI) processes in aging and their association with clinically relevant outcomes is virtually non-existent. To our knowledge, the relationship between MSI and balance has not been well-established in aging. Given known alterations in unisensory processing with increasing age, the aims of the current study were to determine differential behavioral patterns of MSI in aging and investigate whether MSI was significantly associated with balance and fall-risk. Seventy healthy older adults (M = 75 years; 58% female) participated in the current study. Participants were instructed to make speeded responses to visual, somatosensory, and visual-somatosensory (VS) stimuli. Based on reaction times (RTs) to all stimuli, participants were classified into one of two groups (MSI or NO MSI), depending on their MSI RT benefit. Static balance was assessed using mean unipedal stance time. Overall, results revealed that RTs to VS stimuli were significantly shorter than those elicited to constituent unisensory conditions. Further, the current experimental design afforded differential patterns of multisensory processing, with 75% of the elderly sample demonstrating multisensory enhancements. Interestingly, 25% of older adults did not demonstrate multisensory RT facilitation; a finding that was attributed to extremely fast RTs overall and specifically in response to somatosensory inputs. Individuals in the NO MSI group maintained significantly better unipedal stance times and reported less falls, compared to elders in the MSI group. This study reveals the existence of differential patterns of multisensory processing in aging, while describing the clinical translational value of MSI enhancements in predicting balance and falls risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-42
Number of pages26
JournalMultisensory research
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Aging of materials
Research Design
Processing
Research
Design of experiments
bromoacetylalprenololmenthane

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Balance
  • Falls
  • Multisensory integration
  • Sensory processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Ophthalmology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Sensory Systems
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

@article{a09dc5bf55894ef9b53627cf73417538,
title = "Visual-somatosensory integration and balance: Evidence for psychophysical integrative differences in aging",
abstract = "Research detailing multisensory integration (MSI) processes in aging and their association with clinically relevant outcomes is virtually non-existent. To our knowledge, the relationship between MSI and balance has not been well-established in aging. Given known alterations in unisensory processing with increasing age, the aims of the current study were to determine differential behavioral patterns of MSI in aging and investigate whether MSI was significantly associated with balance and fall-risk. Seventy healthy older adults (M = 75 years; 58{\%} female) participated in the current study. Participants were instructed to make speeded responses to visual, somatosensory, and visual-somatosensory (VS) stimuli. Based on reaction times (RTs) to all stimuli, participants were classified into one of two groups (MSI or NO MSI), depending on their MSI RT benefit. Static balance was assessed using mean unipedal stance time. Overall, results revealed that RTs to VS stimuli were significantly shorter than those elicited to constituent unisensory conditions. Further, the current experimental design afforded differential patterns of multisensory processing, with 75{\%} of the elderly sample demonstrating multisensory enhancements. Interestingly, 25{\%} of older adults did not demonstrate multisensory RT facilitation; a finding that was attributed to extremely fast RTs overall and specifically in response to somatosensory inputs. Individuals in the NO MSI group maintained significantly better unipedal stance times and reported less falls, compared to elders in the MSI group. This study reveals the existence of differential patterns of multisensory processing in aging, while describing the clinical translational value of MSI enhancements in predicting balance and falls risk.",
keywords = "Aging, Balance, Falls, Multisensory integration, Sensory processing",
author = "Mahoney, {Jeannette R.} and Roee Holtzer and Joe Verghese",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1163/22134808-00002444",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "27",
pages = "17--42",
journal = "Multisensory research",
issn = "2213-4794",
publisher = "Brill",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Visual-somatosensory integration and balance

T2 - Evidence for psychophysical integrative differences in aging

AU - Mahoney, Jeannette R.

AU - Holtzer, Roee

AU - Verghese, Joe

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Research detailing multisensory integration (MSI) processes in aging and their association with clinically relevant outcomes is virtually non-existent. To our knowledge, the relationship between MSI and balance has not been well-established in aging. Given known alterations in unisensory processing with increasing age, the aims of the current study were to determine differential behavioral patterns of MSI in aging and investigate whether MSI was significantly associated with balance and fall-risk. Seventy healthy older adults (M = 75 years; 58% female) participated in the current study. Participants were instructed to make speeded responses to visual, somatosensory, and visual-somatosensory (VS) stimuli. Based on reaction times (RTs) to all stimuli, participants were classified into one of two groups (MSI or NO MSI), depending on their MSI RT benefit. Static balance was assessed using mean unipedal stance time. Overall, results revealed that RTs to VS stimuli were significantly shorter than those elicited to constituent unisensory conditions. Further, the current experimental design afforded differential patterns of multisensory processing, with 75% of the elderly sample demonstrating multisensory enhancements. Interestingly, 25% of older adults did not demonstrate multisensory RT facilitation; a finding that was attributed to extremely fast RTs overall and specifically in response to somatosensory inputs. Individuals in the NO MSI group maintained significantly better unipedal stance times and reported less falls, compared to elders in the MSI group. This study reveals the existence of differential patterns of multisensory processing in aging, while describing the clinical translational value of MSI enhancements in predicting balance and falls risk.

AB - Research detailing multisensory integration (MSI) processes in aging and their association with clinically relevant outcomes is virtually non-existent. To our knowledge, the relationship between MSI and balance has not been well-established in aging. Given known alterations in unisensory processing with increasing age, the aims of the current study were to determine differential behavioral patterns of MSI in aging and investigate whether MSI was significantly associated with balance and fall-risk. Seventy healthy older adults (M = 75 years; 58% female) participated in the current study. Participants were instructed to make speeded responses to visual, somatosensory, and visual-somatosensory (VS) stimuli. Based on reaction times (RTs) to all stimuli, participants were classified into one of two groups (MSI or NO MSI), depending on their MSI RT benefit. Static balance was assessed using mean unipedal stance time. Overall, results revealed that RTs to VS stimuli were significantly shorter than those elicited to constituent unisensory conditions. Further, the current experimental design afforded differential patterns of multisensory processing, with 75% of the elderly sample demonstrating multisensory enhancements. Interestingly, 25% of older adults did not demonstrate multisensory RT facilitation; a finding that was attributed to extremely fast RTs overall and specifically in response to somatosensory inputs. Individuals in the NO MSI group maintained significantly better unipedal stance times and reported less falls, compared to elders in the MSI group. This study reveals the existence of differential patterns of multisensory processing in aging, while describing the clinical translational value of MSI enhancements in predicting balance and falls risk.

KW - Aging

KW - Balance

KW - Falls

KW - Multisensory integration

KW - Sensory processing

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84904604695&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84904604695&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1163/22134808-00002444

DO - 10.1163/22134808-00002444

M3 - Article

C2 - 25102664

AN - SCOPUS:84904604695

VL - 27

SP - 17

EP - 42

JO - Multisensory research

JF - Multisensory research

SN - 2213-4794

IS - 1

ER -