Sensation & falls


We mislocalise landmarks on our hand when we can’t see it

Previous studies have shown that healthy individuals, when asked to locate the position of the tips and knuckles of each finger on their hand when it could not be seen, consistently misjudge the size and shape of their hand (Longo & Haggard, 2010). They overestimate the width of their hand […]


A tailored multidisciplinary intervention reduces the burden of dizziness in middle-aged and older people

Dizziness is a debilitating symptom that affects 10-30% of middle-aged and older people (Aggarwal et al, 2000; Colledge et al, 1994). People with dizziness often report poor health outcomes including reduced quality of life, depression, fear of falling and falls (Aggarwal et al, 2000; Colledge et al, 1994; Tinetti et […]


The ageing foot: how does skin feedback change as we grow old?

Historically, research on skin’s role in postural stability has focused on the sole of the foot, as this area is in contact with the ground as we stand and move. Special receptors from the sole of the foot provide information about contact pressure and slips of the foot (Kennedy & […]


How many times per week should an older person perform resistance training? “More is more” versus “less is more”

Current recommendations for physical activity state healthy adults should: 1) engage in moderate aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes per week and 2) perform resistance training (i.e. strength training) for all major muscle groups at least two times per week (World Health Organization, 2010). However, according to recent reports […]


Older people maintain their strength and balance after a busy day

Previous studies have shown that repeatedly working muscles until fatigue results in reduced strength, sensation, walking and balance control in older people (Helbostad et al. 2007, 2010; Kent-Braun, 2009; Pline et al. 2005). However, these extreme protocols are unlikely to accurately reflect an older person’s daily activities and likely miss the […]


Motor Impairment Blog’s most popular posts

Over the past 4.5 years, researchers from all over the world have written non-technical summaries on their research for the Motor Impairment Blog. Consequently, the Blog contains a rich archive of information on topics such as muscle strength and weakness, falls and balance, sensation, pain, motor control, and research methods. […]


Mental fatigue impairs dual-task gait performance in old adults – A new risk factor for falls in the elderly?

Mental fatigue is a psychobiological state induced by sustained periods of demanding cognitive activity. Mental fatigue can negatively impact many aspects of daily life, such as workplace and physical exercise performance. Mental fatigue can manifest itself subjectively, behaviorally and physiologically. The subjective dimension includes increased feelings of tiredness and lack […]


Getting to grips with body ownership

How we sense where our body is and what body parts belong to us is crucial for successful interaction with our environments (e.g. Proske & Gandevia 2012). It might seem silly to ask whether a body part belongs to you or someone else, however studies of patients and studies that […]


Keep an eye on exercise supervision

As we get older, we lose muscle size and strength and become more vulnerable to injury (de Souto Barreto 2009; Fried et al. 2005). Each year, 1 in 3 individuals over 65 has a fall (Yoshida 2007), which often leads to fractures, hospital admissions and mortality. Strength and balance exercise […]


Skin at the back of the ankle contributes to awareness of ankle position 1

The ability to know how our limbs are positioned in space is called proprioception. This ‘sense’ is possible through information gained from individual sensors in the muscles and in the skin. In fact, skin stretch on the back or dorsal surface of the hand has been shown to create illusory […]