An oculus rift assessment of dynamic balance by head mobility in a virtual park scene: A pilot study

Anat V. Lubetzky, Bryan D. Hujsak, Gene Fu, Ken Perlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Postural sway does not differentiate between balance disorders. Head kinematics within a salient, immersive environment could potentially help identifying movement patterns that are unique to vestibular dysfunction. We describe a virtual park scene, where participants are asked to avoid a virtual ball approaching their head, to target dynamic balance and quantify head movement strategy. Sixteen patients with vestibular dysfunction and 16 healthy controls were wearing the Oculus Rift and performed the “park” scene on floor and stability trainers. Significant between-group differences emerged in head path (patients rotated their head sideways more), head acceleration (controls had higher acceleration, especially on translation movements), and peak frequency (controls peaked around the frequency of the ball whereas patients were variable). Those findings demonstrated good to excellent test–retest reliability. There were no significant between-group differences in postural sway parameters. Future studies should establish norms across different levels of balance dysfunction and investigate the underlying mechanism leading to the movement strategy observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-142
Number of pages16
JournalMotor Control
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Head tracking
  • Postural control
  • Vestibular dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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