The aim of the present study was to determine the optimal visual target to be used in stabilometry. The sway of the body (total length and area of the center of pressure) was measured on 30 healthy subjects while they were shown 8 kinds of visual targets at random, placed 2 m infront. The body sway was also measured on subjects with their eyes closed in light conditions, and with their eyes open but with no target. The results showed that, in contrast to the reports by other authors, the body sway was smallest when there was no target. The body sway was largest with the eyes closed, as previously reported. The results obtained using different target shapes (closed circle or cross) or sizes were not significantly different. We speculate that when the subject focuses on a specific target, his/her attention is concentrated on the central view, and input from the periphery may be reduced. Thus, we conclude that it is optimal for the subject to gazes at no specific visual target in stabilometry.
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