Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Camilo Giraldo

Publication Date


Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery


Falls are a prevalent problem among elderly populations. Falls increase the cost of healthcare, frequently cause severe injuries, and negatively affect quality of life. Lack of postural stability is a major contributing factor to falls, with postural stability defined as the correct biomechanical execution based on sensory feedback. Types of sensory feedback include vision, vestibular, proprioceptive, and somatosensory. This study focuses on the lack of postural stability in quiet standing (standing upright and still) due to somatosensory and vision deficiencies. To track these deficiencies, fifty-one subjects stood for sixty seconds on two force plates, and their center of pressure (COP) time series were extracted. All subjects completed three trials with eyes closed or open while standing on five foam thicknesses that simulated various levels of somatosensory deficiencies at the feet, a common symptom in people with a high risk of falling (e.g., diabetic populations). To quantify these somatosensory deficiencies, Detrended Fluctuation Analysis (DFA) was performed on all COP time series. It is hypothesized that DFA on COP time series can track deficiencies in the somatosensory and vision feedbacks. Though this study does not cover actual somatosensory deficiencies, it could offer a validated measure to future studies comprised of participants who suffer from peripheral neuropathy (e.g., diabetic populations).

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.