Effects of optimal tactile feedback in balancing tasks: A pilot study

Emmanouil Tzorakoleftherakis, Ferdinando A. Mussa-Ivaldi, Robert A. Scheidt, Todd D. Murphey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


In this study, we employ optimal control and tactile feedback to teach subjects how to balance a simulated inverted pendulum. The output of a Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) was converted to a vibratory teacher-signal and was provided as additional somatosensory feedback to the subjects. The LQR approach is consistent with an energy-saving strategy commonly observed during human motor learning. Our rationale for using the inverted pendulum as a criterion task is that this balance system requires the brain to solve many of the same problems encountered in simple tasks of daily living like transporting a glass of water to the mouth. Experimental results indicate that subjects who trained with the teacher-signal, performed significantly better than subjects who trained only with visual feedback. This result is promising and can be applied, among other fields, in rehabilitation to compensate for lost or compromised proprioception, commonly observed in stroke survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2014 American Control Conference, ACC 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781479932726
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event2014 American Control Conference, ACC 2014 - Portland, OR, United States
Duration: Jun 4 2014Jun 6 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Other2014 American Control Conference, ACC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPortland, OR


  • Biomedical
  • Learning
  • Optimal control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of optimal tactile feedback in balancing tasks: A pilot study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this