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The Stationary-Gaze Task Should Not Be Systematically Used as the Control Task in Studies of Postural Control

Abstract : In studies of postural control, a control task is often used to understand significant effects obtained with experimental manipulations. This task should be the easiest task and (therefore) engage the lowest behavioral variability and cognitive workload. Since 1983, the stationary-gaze task is considered as the most relevant control task. Instead, the authors expected that free looking at small targets (white paper or images; visual angle: 12°) could be an easier task. To verify this assumption, 16 young individuals performed stationary-gaze, white-panel, and free-viewing 12° tasks in steady and relaxed stances. The stationary-gaze task led to significantly higher cognitive workload (mean score in the National Aeronotics and Space Administration Task Load Index questionnaire), higher interindividual body (head, neck, and lower back) linear variability, and higher interindividual body angular variability-not systematically yet-than both other tasks. There was more cognitive workload in steady than relaxed stances. The authors also tested if a free-viewing 24° task could lead to greater angular displacement, and hence greater body sway, than could the other tasks in relaxed stance. Unexpectedly, the participants mostly moved their eyes and not their body in this task. In the discussion, the authors explain why the stationary-gaze task may not be an ideal control task and how to choose this neutral task.
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Contributeur : Lilloa Université de Lille <>
Soumis le : mercredi 17 juillet 2019 - 14:04:24
Dernière modification le : jeudi 24 septembre 2020 - 17:30:04




Cédrick T. Bonnet, Sébastien Szaffarczyk. The Stationary-Gaze Task Should Not Be Systematically Used as the Control Task in Studies of Postural Control. Journal of motor behavior, 2016, Journal of Motor Behavior, 49, pp.494-504. ⟨10.1080/00222895.2016.1241749⟩. ⟨hal-02186732⟩



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