Congenital Deafness Alters Sensory Weighting for Postural Control

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Abstract

Objectives:

The aim of this study was to examine sensory reweighting for postural control in congenitally deaf individuals.

Design:

We studied 14 controls and 14 deaf age-matched individuals using a force platform and the modified clinical test of sensory interaction and balance protocol. Both groups performed the postural tasks without auditory cues (with hearing protectors for controls or without hearing devices for the deaf).

Results:

The results confirmed poorer postural stability in the deaf. More importantly, the data suggest that congenitally deaf individuals rely more on somatosensory information for postural control than controls.

Conclusions:

This increased somatosensory reliance may increase postural sway when it comes to more challenging postural conditions.

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