Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 9797369, 11 pages
Research Article

Associations between Tactile Sensory Threshold and Postural Performance and Effects of Healthy Aging and Subthreshold Vibrotactile Stimulation on Postural Outcomes in a Simple Dual Task

1Memorial Bone & Joint Research Foundation, 1140 Business Center Drive, Suite 101, Houston, TX 77043-2740, USA
2Center for Neuromotor and Biomechanics Research, John P. McGovern Campus, 2450 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77021-2040, USA

Received 28 October 2015; Accepted 22 March 2016

Academic Editor: Abebaw Yohannes

Copyright © 2016 Marius Dettmer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Specific activities that require concurrent processing of postural and cognitive tasks may increase the risk for falls in older adults. We investigated whether peripheral receptor sensitivity was associated with postural performance in a dual-task and whether an intervention in form of subthreshold vibration could affect performance. Ten younger (age: 20–35 years) and ten older adults (70–85 years) performed repeated auditory-verbal 1-back tasks while standing quietly on a force platform. Foot sole vibration was randomly added during several trials. Several postural control and performance measures were assessed and statistically analyzed (significance set to -levels of .05). There were moderate correlations between peripheral sensitivity and several postural performance and control measures ( to .59). Several postural performance measures differed significantly between older and younger adults (); addition of vibration did not affect outcome measures. Aging affects healthy older adults’ performance in dual-tasks, and peripheral sensitivity may be a contributor to the observed differences. A vibration intervention may only be useful when there are more severe impairments of the sensorimotor system. Hence, future research regarding the efficacy of sensorimotor interventions in the form of vibrotactile stimulation should focus on older adults whose balance is significantly affected.