Wearing textured insoles can reduce static postural sway, but the neurophysiological mechanisms by which these changes occur are not well understood. To address this issue, cortical activity was investigated in the present study using electroencephalography (EEG) recordings from 19 scalp locations, in 15 healthy young adults (5 females; mean age = 27 ± 4.09yrs) during quiet bipedal standing, under different insole conditions (textured vs. smooth), with and without vision. Compared to smooth insoles, textured insoles significantly reduced postural sway in two measures; anterior-posterior range and standard deviation. In the EEG data, whole-head analyses showed cortical activity in the upper alpha power-band was significantly reduced for textured compared to smooth insoles. Exploratory analyses revealed this effect was significant both with and without vision, and was more pronounced over the parietal, compared to central regions, and over central compared to frontal regions. This trend was observed in low alpha and theta bands, but the effect of insole type was not significant. Textured insoles thus appear to affect not only balance outcomes but also cortical activity. The cortical activity adaptation may represent greater information becoming readily available at the cortical level, enhancing the representation of the body in space.
|Journal of Motor Behavior
|Accepted/In press - 6 Jul 2019