Document Detail

Interpersonal light touch assists balance in the elderly.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19460746     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Previous researchers have shown that light touch contact with a fixed object reduces body sway, whereas light touch with a moving object entrains and increases sway. Given the importance of interpersonal touch and, for example, its use in care for the elderly, it is interesting to ask whether light touch contact between two people reduces or increases sway? The authors measured ground reaction forces and trunk movements in 5 pairs of older participants (M age = 65.1 years, SD = 4.2 years) during quiet standing, when contacting another person using light touch at the index finger and during light touch with a fixed object. Postural sway was reduced in both light touch conditions, by 13% with interpersonal light touch and by 31% with the fixed object. A small but significant positive correlation in sway with near 0 phase lag during interpersonal light touch may reflect the role of anticipation in maintaining light touch. The authors conclude interpersonal light touch affords an interesting new paradigm for the study of balance.
Leif Johannsen; Azucena Guzman-Garcia; Alan M Wing
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of motor behavior     Volume:  41     ISSN:  0022-2895     ISO Abbreviation:  J Mot Behav     Publication Date:  2009 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-10-28     Completed Date:  2009-12-29     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0236512     Medline TA:  J Mot Behav     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  397-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Behavioural Brain Sciences Centre, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
Aging / physiology*
Feedback, Sensory / physiology*
Interpersonal Relations
Middle Aged
Postural Balance / physiology*
Proprioception / physiology*
Reference Values
Touch / physiology
Touch Perception / physiology
Grant Support
BBF0100871//Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

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