The Promise of Stochastic Resonance in Falls Prevention

Oliver White, Jan Babic, Carlos Trenado, Leif Johannsen, Nandu Goswami

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Multisensory integration is essential for maintenance of motor and cognitive abilities, thereby ensuring normal function and personal autonomy. Balance control is challenged during senescence or in motor disorders, leading to potential falls. Increased uncertainty in sensory signals is caused by a number of factors including noise, defined as a random and persistent disturbance that reduces the clarity of information. Counter-intuitively, noise can be beneficial in some conditions. Stochastic resonance is a mechanism whereby a particular level of noise actually enhances the response of non-linear systems to weak sensory signals. Here we review the effects of stochastic resonance on sensory modalities and systems directly involved in balance control. We highlight its potential for improving sensorimotor performance as well as cognitive and autonomic functions. These promising results demonstrate that stochastic resonance represents a flexible and non-invasive technique that can be applied to different modalities simultaneously. Finally we point out its benefits for a variety of scenarios including in ambulant elderly, skilled movements, sports and to patients with sensorimotor or autonomic dysfunctions.Multisensory integration is essential for maintenance of motor and cognitive abilities, thereby ensuring normal function and personal autonomy. Balance control is challenged during senescence or in motor disorders, leading to potential falls. Increased uncertainty in sensory signals is caused by a number of factors including noise, defined as a random and persistent disturbance that reduces the clarity of information. Counter-intuitively, noise can be beneficial in some conditions. Stochastic resonance is a mechanism whereby a particular level of noise actually enhances the response of non-linear systems to weak sensory signals. Here we review the effects of stochastic resonance on sensory modalities and systems directly involved in balance control. We highlight its potential for improving sensorimotor performance as well as cognitive and autonomic functions. These promising results demonstrate that stochastic resonance represents a flexible and non-invasive technique that can be applied to different modalities simultaneously. Finally we point out its benefits for a variety of scenarios including in ambulant elderly, skilled movements, sports and to patients with sensorimotor or autonomic dysfunctions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2019

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