Albert H. Vette
Past Research
Balance Control during Quiet Standing

I have collaborated on a project that investigates the balance control strategy healthy individuals apply during quiet standing. Similar to my other research projects, my work on balance control employs a bimodal approach that combines theoretical considerations (i.e., mathematical model studies) with practical findings or validations (experiments).

One of the goals of this project is to characterize the physiological control system during standing and to use the acquired knowledge for rehabilitation purposes after injury and disease. In particular, the concrete vision is to use functional electrical stimulation (FES) – either in form of a therapeutic device or as assistive technology – to improve the balance abilities after spinal cord injury (SCI) and stroke. Note that the ability of people with SCI to stand, for example, would have a huge impact on their independence during activities of daily life and on their psychosocial health and well-being.

A second objective of this project is to obtain a more comprehensive description of the sensory-motor mechanisms during standing that might influence balance abilities of the young and elderly. Since the Canadian demographics are changing rapidly – with the elderly suffering more than 180,000 injurious falls per year – the envisioned research is most critical for our own health care system, but also for many other aging societies worldwide.

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