Université de Fribourg

Alterations in the cortical control of standing posture during varying levels of postural threat and task difficulty

Tokuno, Craig D. ; Keller, Martin ; Carpenter, Mark G. ; Márquez, Gonzalo ; Taube, Wolfgang

In: Journal of Neurophysiology, 2018, vol. 120, no. 3, p. 1010–1016

Cortical excitability increases during the performance of more difficult postural tasks. However, it is possible that changes in postural threat associated with more difficult tasks may in themselves lead to alterations in the neural strategies underlying postural control. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine whether changes in postural threat are responsible for the...

Université de Fribourg

Age-dependent adaptations to anticipated and non-anticipated perturbations after balance training in children

Wälchli, Michael ; Keller, Martin ; Ruffieux, Jan ; Mouthon, Audrey ; Taube, Wolfgang

In: Human Movement Science, 2018, vol. 59, p. 170–177

Postural control undergoes rapid changes during child development. However, the influence of balance training (BT) on the compensation of perturbations has not yet been investigated in children. For this purpose, young (6.7 ± 0.6 years) and old children (12.0 ± 0.4 years) were exposed to externally induced anticipated (direction known) and non-anticipated (direction unknown)...

Université de Fribourg

Balance training reduces brain activity during motor simulation of a challenging balance task in older adults: an fMRI study

Ruffieux, Jan ; Mouthon, Audrey ; Keller, Martin ; Mouthon, Michaël ; Annoni, Jean-Marie ; Taube, Wolfgang

In: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 2018, vol. 12, p. -

Aging is associated with a shift from an automatic to a more cortical postural control strategy, which goes along with deteriorations in postural stability. Although balance training has been shown to effectively counteract these behavioral deteriorations, little is known about the effect of balance training on brain activity during postural tasks in older adults. We, therefore, assessed...

Université de Fribourg

Preparatory cortical and spinal settings to counteract anticipated and non-anticipated perturbations

Wächli, Michael ; Tokuno, Craig D. ; Ruffieux, Jan ; Keller, Martin ; Taube, Wolfgang

In: Neuroscience, 2017, vol. 365, no. Supplement C, p. 12–22

Little is known about how the central nervous system prepares postural responses differently in anticipated compared to non-anticipated perturbations. To investigate this, participants were exposed to translational and rotational perturbations presented in a blocked (anticipated) and a random (non-anticipated) design. The preparatory setting (‘central set’) was measured by H-reflexes,...

Université de Fribourg

Behavioral and neural adaptations in response to five weeks of balance training in older adults: a randomized controlled trial

Ruffieux, Jan ; Mouthon, Audrey ; Keller, Martin ; Wälchli, Michael ; Taube, Wolfgang

In: Journal of Negative Results in BioMedicine, 2017, vol. 16, p. 11

Background: While the positive effect of balance training on age-related impairments in postural stability is well-documented, the neural correlates of such training adaptations in older adults remain poorly understood. This study therefore aimed to shed more light on neural adaptations in response to balance training in older adults.Methods: Postural stability as well as spinal reflex and...

Université de Fribourg

Is young age a limiting factor when training balance? Effects of child-oriented balance training in children and adolescents

Wälchli, Michael ; Ruffieux, Jan ; Mouthon, Audrey ; Keller, Martin ; Taube, Wolfgang

In: Pediatric Exercise Science, 2017, p. 1–26

Purpose: Balance training studies in children reported conflicting results without evidence for improvements in children under the age of eight. The aim of this study therefore was to compare balance training adaptations in children of different age groups to clarify whether young age prevents positive training outcomes.Method: The effects of five weeks of child-oriented balance training were...

Université de Fribourg

Age-related differences in corticospinal excitability during observation and motor imagery of balance tasks

Mouthon, Audrey A. ; Ruffieux, Jan ; Keller, Martin ; Taube, Wolfgang

In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 2016, vol. 8, p. -

Postural control declines across adult lifespan. Non-physical balance training has been suggested as an alternative to improve postural control in frail/immobilized elderly people. Previous studies showed that this kind of training can improve balance control in young and older adults. However, it is unclear whether the brain of young and older adults is activated differently during mental...

Université de Fribourg

Task-dependent changes of corticospinal excitability during observation and motor imagery of balance tasks

Mouthon, Audrey ; Ruffieux, Jean ; Wälchli, Michael ; Keller, Martin ; Taube, Wolfgang

In: Neuroscience, 2015, vol. 303, p. 535–543

Non-physical balance training has demonstrated to be efficient to improve postural control in young people. However, little is known about the potential to increase corticospinal excitability by mental simulation in lower leg muscles. Mental simulation of isolated, voluntary contractions of limb muscles increase corticospinal excitability but more automated tasks like walking seem to have no or...

Université de Fribourg

Brain activity during observation and motor imagery of different balance tasks: An fMRI study

Taube, Wolfgang ; Mouthon, Michael ; Leukel, Christian ; Hoogewoud, Henri-Marcel ; Annoni, Jean-Marie ; Keller, Martin

In: Cortex, 2015, vol. 64, p. 102–114

After immobilization, patients show impaired postural control and increased risk of falling. Therefore, loss of balance control should already be counteracted during immobilization. Previously, studies have demonstrated that both motor imagery (MI) and action observation (AO) can improve motor performance. The current study elaborated how the brain is activated during imagination and observation...

Université de Fribourg

Non-physical practice improves task performance in an unstable, perturbed environment: motor imagery and observational balance training

Taube, Wolfgang ; Lorch, Michael ; Zeiter, Sibylle ; Keller, Martin

In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2014, vol. 8, p. 972

For consciously performed motor tasks executed in a defined and constant way, both motor imagery (MI) and action observation (AO) have been shown to promote motor learning. It is not known whether these forms of non-physical training also improve motor actions when these actions have to be variably applied in an unstable and unpredictable environment. The present study therefore investigated the...