EEG correlates of postural audio-biofeedback

Marco Pirini, Martina Mancini, Elisabetta Farella, Lorenzo Chiari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The control of postural sway depends on the dynamic integration of multi-sensory information in the central nervous system. Augmentation of sensory information, such as during auditory biofeedback (ABF) of the trunk acceleration, has been shown to improve postural control. By means of quantitative electroencephalography (EEG), we examined the basic processes in the brain that are involved in the perception and cognition of auditory signals used for ABF. ABF and Fake ABF (FAKE) auditory stimulations were delivered to 10 healthy naive participants during quiet standing postural tasks, with eyes-open and closed. Trunk acceleration and 19-channels EEG were recorded at the same time. Advanced, state-of-the-art EEG analysis and modeling methods were employed to assess the possibly differential, functional activation, and localization of EEG spectral features (power in α, β, and γ bands) between the FAKE and the ABF conditions, for both the eyes-open and the eyes-closed tasks. Participants gained advantage by ABF in reducing their postural sway, as measured by a reduction of the root mean square of trunk acceleration during the ABF compared to the FAKE condition. Population-wise localization analysis performed on the comparison FAKE - ABF revealed: (i) a significant decrease of α power in the right inferior parietal cortex for the eyes-open task; (ii) a significant increase of γ power in left temporo-parietal areas for the eyes-closed task; (iii) a significant increase of γ power in the left temporo-occipital areas in the eyes-open task. EEG outcomes supported the idea that ABF for postural control heavily modulates (increases) the cortical activation in healthy participants. The sites showing the higher ABF-related modulation are among the known cortical areas associated with multi-sensory, perceptual integration, and sensorimotor integration, showing a differential activation between the eyes-open and eyes-closed conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-261
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Movement Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Audio-biofeedback
  • EEG
  • Multi-sensory integration
  • Postural control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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