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Sport Skill–Specific Expertise Biases Sensory Integration for Spatial Referencing and Postural Control

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journal contribution
posted on 15.09.2017 by Michalis Thalassinos, Giorgos Fotiadis, Fotini Arabatzi, Brice Isableu, Vassilia Hatzitaki

The authors asked how sport expertise modulates visual field dependence and sensory reweighting for controlling posture. Experienced soccer athletes, ballet dancers, and nonathletes performed (a) a Rod and Frame test and (b) a 100-s bipedal stance task during which vision and proprioception were successively or concurrently disrupted in 20-s blocks. Postural adaptation was assessed in the mean center of pressure displacement, root mean square of center of pressure velocity and ankle muscles integrated electromyography activity. Soccer athletes were more field dependent than were nonathletes. During standing, dancers were more destabilized by vibration and required more time to reweigh sensory information compared with the other 2 groups. These findings reveal a sport skill–specific bias in the reweighing of sensory inputs for spatial orientation and postural control.