The purpose of the present study was to examine how children's postural control is affected by different visual cues. Sixteen children, ages 8 and 12 years, and eight adults participated in the study. Each was asked to stand upright inside a moving room, which oscillated at 0.2 Hz, while facing the frontal wall at two distances: 75 and 150 cm, under monocular and binocular vision conditions. Vision manipulation induced corresponding body sway in all participants, but vision effect was the smallest in the monocular vision condition, at the greater distance (150 cm) from the front wall. More importantly, however, the influence of visual manipulation on body sway was age-dependent, with the younger children showing less visually induced body sway than the older children and adults. This aging effect was more dramatic in the monocular vision condition. These results suggest that development of the visual system is not fully completed until the age of 12 years and that eye movement and binocular vision might play an important role in how visual cues are coupled to body sway.
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