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The development of postural strategies in children: a factorial design study

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Abstract ral Journal of NeuroEngineering and ss BioMed CentRehabilitation Open AcceResearch The development of postural strategies in children: a factorial design study Maurizio Schmid*1, Silvia Conforto1, Luisa Lopez2, Paolo Renzi3 and Tommaso D'Alessio1 Address: 1Dipartimento di Elettronica Applicata, Università degli Studi "Roma TRE", Italy, 2Unità di Neurologia Infantile, Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata", Italy and 3Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza", Italy Email: Maurizio Schmid* - [email protected]; Silvia Conforto - [email protected]; Luisa Lopez - [email protected]; Paolo Renzi - [email protected]; Tommaso D'Alessio - [email protected] * Corresponding author Postural ControlDevelopmentChildren Abstract Background: The present study investigates balance control mechanisms, their variations with the absence of visual input, and their development in children from 7 to 11 years old, in order to provide insights on the development of balance control in the pediatric population. Methods: Posturographic data were recorded during 60 s trials administered on a sample population of 148 primary school children while stepping and then quietly standing on a force plate in two different vision conditions: eyes closed and eyes open. The extraction of posturographic parameters on the quiet standing phase of the experiment was preceded by the implementation of an algorithm to identify the settling time after stepping on the force plate. The effect of different conditions on posturographic parameters was tested with a two-way ANOVA (Age × Vision), and the corresponding eyes-closed/eyes-open (Romberg) Ratios underwent a one-way ANOVA. Results: Several posturographic measures were found to be sensitive to testing condition (eyes closed vs. eyes open) and some of them to age and anthropometric parameters. The latter relationship did not explain all the data variability with age. An evident modification

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