Undergraduate Honors Theses

Author

Eun KimFollow

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Integrative Physiology

First Advisor

David Sherwood

Second Advisor

Alaa Ahmed

Third Advisor

James Walker

Abstract

This research study attempted to find the effects of internal and external focus of attention (FOA), with vision and without vision, on a subject’s balance. The experiment consisted of six testing conditions with each condition consisting of three ten-second trials each, a total of eighteen trials per subject. The subject participated in each condition: control with vision and without vision (n=20), internal FOA with vision and without vision (n=20), and external FOA with vision and without vision (n=20). Subjects assumed an intermediate level yoga pose, tree pose, on a Wii Balance Board throughout the experiment, while force in kilograms from each of the board’s four sensors was collected. The level of performance was measured by the standard deviation of COPx and COPy calculated by the data recorded from the board’s four sensors, as well as the standard deviation of COP distance from the center in the x-direction and y-direction in centimeters. The subject being off centered resulted in a larger variation in the four measurements whereas a smaller variation in the four measurements was measured in subjects who had superior balance. The findings showed that there was a significant effect of vision on balance providing evidence that visual input is an important factor in postural stability. However, there was no significant effect of FOA on balance, providing no evidence for the constrained action hypothesis. Though there was no significant effect of FOA on balance, this is a relatively new area of research and additional studies are required before a conclusion may be made.

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