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Congenital Deafness Alters Sensory Weighting for Postural Control

Maheu, Maxime1,2; Sharp, Andréanne1; Pagé, Sara1,2; Champoux, François1,2

doi: 10.1097/AUD.0000000000000449
Brief Report

Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine sensory reweighting for postural control in congenitally deaf individuals.

Design: We studied 14 controls and 14 deaf age-matched individuals using a force platform and the modified clinical test of sensory interaction and balance protocol. Both groups performed the postural tasks without auditory cues (with hearing protectors for controls or without hearing devices for the deaf).

Results: The results confirmed poorer postural stability in the deaf. More importantly, the data suggest that congenitally deaf individuals rely more on somatosensory information for postural control than controls.

Conclusions: This increased somatosensory reliance may increase postural sway when it comes to more challenging postural conditions.

1École d’orthophonie et d’audiologie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada; and 2CIUSSS Centre-Sud-de-l’île-de-Montréal/Institut Raymond-Dewar, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Received November 3, 2016; accepted March 20, 2017.

This research was funded by the Fonds de Recherche du Québec-Santé (FRQS) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

M.M and F.C. designed and performed the experiment. S.P. and A.S. helped with the testing. M.M and F.C wrote the article and S.P. and A.S. helped in the authorship. All authors discussed the results and implications and commented on the manuscript at all stages.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Address for correspondence: François Champoux, Université de Montréal, Faculté de médecine, École d’orthophonie et d’audiologie, C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, Québec H3C 3J7, Canada. E-mail:

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