Improving Balance Function Using Low Levels of Electrical Stimulation of the Balance Organs
A device based on this technology may be used as a miniature patch worn by people with disabilities to improve posture and locomotion, and to enhance adaptability or skill acquisition.
Crewmembers returning from long-duration space flight face significant challenges due to the microgravity-induced inappropriate adaptations in balance/sensorimotor function. The Neuroscience Laboratory at JSC is developing a method based on stochastic resonance to enhance the brain’s ability to detect signals from the balance organs of the inner ear and use them for rapid improvement in balance skill, especially when combined with balance training exercises. This method involves a stimulus delivery system that is wearable/portable and provides imperceptible electrical stimulation to the balance organs of the human body.