Quest Educational Foundation - Balance Programs

Science and Art of Balance

The 3 Amigos of Proprioception

The central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), the skeletal structure, and the musculature are complex systems that work as a team to provide the right output for proper body stabilization against gravitational forces.

Bodily movements depend on messages to and from the control room of the brain. The brain remembers patterns of movement, not of individual muscle contractions.


If your proprioceptive system is operating normally... you won't ever cut your face shaving with your eyes closed.

Presuming a healthy balance system, which do you think is easier and which can you do faster?  Running on ice with your eyes closed or open?

Inner Ear and Stimulation

Brain Port

Audio-Biofeedback for Bilateral Vestibular Loss

A Portable audio-biofeedback (ABF) system could be mounted on a Glider Rider MTV that encodes the signals provided by a linear accelerometric sensor into a stereo sound.  This sound is relayed to the subjects via IR headphones and can enhance the ability of subjects to perceive trunk accelerations.  System has been tested on nine healthy subjects while they stood in three conditions listening to the ABF representation of their trunk accelerations.  The ABF significantly improved the subjects' balance in all three conditions.   The subjects reported that they were comfortable wearing and using the ABF device.   Results suggest that devices such as this ABF system may be used for balance training and balance rehabilitation therapy.

Balance Disorders Laboratory, Oregon Health and Science University

Many studies are being conducted in the Balance Disorders Laboratory that is run by Dr. Fay Horak.  Dr. Horak is developing a new clinical tool for physical therapists to diagnose and rehabilitate balance disorders. James Frank PhD is studying how people learn how to balance when exposed to predictable surface perturbations. Patty Carlson Kuhta, PhD, is studying the effect of deep brain stimulation in people with Parkinson´s disease. Geoff Wright, PhD, is investigating perception of vertical in subjects with vestibular loss and subjects with Parkinson´s disease. Jesse Jacobs is interested in step initiation in people with Parkinson´s disease and healthy subjects.