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S. Bidot, P. Quercia, A. M. Bron, C. Creuzot-Garcher, T. Pozzo; Postural Effects of Pro and Antisaccades in Children. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):904.
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Several studies dealing with the relationships between visual and postural system have focused on the role of retinal inputs in balance efficiency while the contribution of gaze in posture regulation remains poorly understood. The purpose of this work was to study the relationships between gaze and posture control in healthy children.
Eleven healthy male subjects (mean age 13.9 years±1.1) were included. Subjects stood on a force platform and were asked to fixate a visual target. In the prosaccadic task (reflex task) subjects followed the target with their eyes. In the antisaccadic task (cognitive task), the instruction was to make an eye movement as fast as possible in the opposite direction of the target motion.
The prosaccadic task did not affect postural stability whereas the antisaccadic task disturbed it with an increase of both the standard deviation of the center of pressure displacement along the anteroposterior axis (F2,20=3.96 ; p=0.03) and the path length (F2,20=4.32 ; p=0.02).
These results demonstrate that antisaccadic eye movement, as a task requiring specific attentional resources, alters postural control in children. Because antisaccades, but not prosaccades, produced postural disturbance, the cognitive load required during the former task could explain this result rather than eye movement.
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