International Journal of Medical Sciences

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Int J Med Sci 2004; 1(1):11-20. doi:10.7150/ijms.1.11

Research paper

Discriminating between elderly and young using a fractal dimension analysis of centre of pressure

Tim L. A. Doyle1, Eric L. Dugan2, Brendan Humphries3, Robert U. Newton1

1School of Biomedical and Sports Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA 6027, Australia
2Biomechanics Laboratory, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306, USA
3Faculty of Education, Health, and Science, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT 0815, Australia


The aim of this project was to evaluate the use of a new analysis technique, fractal dimension analysis, for quantification of quiet stance centre of pressure (COP). By using a fractal dimension analysis of COP, it might be possible to gain more information about control during quiet stance than traditional analyses have previously allowed. The current project considered a group of young healthy participants and a group of elderly healthy participants to compare traditional measures of COP against a fractal dimension analysis of COP. Results indicated that both types of analyses are able to distinguish between eyes open and eyes closed in the elderly group. However, the fractal dimension analysis more accurately detected differences between the participant groups when standing with their eyes closed. Based on these results it is suggested that fractal dimension analysis is more informative about posture control than traditional measures. It is suggested that a fractal dimension type of analysis can be incorporated into clinical testing to identify patients with pathologies.

Keywords: dynamical systems, quiet stance, non-linear, control, balance

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Doyle TLA, Dugan EL, Humphries B, Newton RU. Discriminating between elderly and young using a fractal dimension analysis of centre of pressure. Int J Med Sci 2004; 1(1):11-20. doi:10.7150/ijms.1.11. Available from