Philipp Schlieper

Philipp Schlieper

Master's Thesis

The Effects of Sub-Sensory Mechanical Foot Sole Stimulation on Postural Control of Healthy Recreational Athletes

Markus Zrenner (M.Sc.), Markus Wirth (M.Sc.), Prof. Dr. Jochen Klucken, Prof. Dr. Björn Eskofier

10/2017 – 04/2018

Since the early 1990s Stochastic Resonance (SR) was examined by multiple research publications. The topics are ranging from whole body applications [6] to foot sole stimulations with the purpose of improving either postural and balance parameters [2,3,4] or attention scores [6]. Many of these publications address subjects with impaired sensory abilities like elderly people and people with Parkinson’s disease or diabetic patients [3,4]. But there is also research that presents an improvement in balance and exercise completion time for healthy, young participants [1,5,6] or improvement in the knee joint proprioception after ACL surgery [7].
SR by definition is a sub-sensory signal which is enhanced by noise to eventually cross a sensory threshold. Thus, the non-perceivable original signal might, consciously or subconsciously, be recognized by the human nervous system or detected by a technical device.
As stimulating the foot sole with SR showed balance improvements, a further examination of the effects of SR applied to the food is missing. Also exploring effects on alertness and reaction time seems to be a promising area of investigation. Enhancing athletic performance would not only be relevant to professional and amateur sportsmen to potentially lower the risk of injury but also to athletes recovering from injury.

The main topic of this thesis is to explore the effects of SR on the human body and on athletic parameters in particular.


  1. Miranda, Daniel L., et al. “Sensory enhancing insoles improve athletic performance during a hexagonal agility task.” Journal of biomechanics 49.7 (2016): 1058-1063.
  2. Miranda, Daniel L., et al. “Sensory enhancing insoles modify gait during inclined treadmill walking with load.” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 48.5 (2016): 860-868.
  3. Priplata, Attila A., et al. “Vibrating insoles and balance control in elderly people.” The Lancet 362.9390 (2003): 1123-1124.
  4. Geertzen, Jan HB. “Effects of vibrating insoles on standing balance in diabetic neuropathy.” Journal of rehabilitation research and development 45.9 (2008): 1441.
  5. Zhou, J., et al. “Noise stimuli improve the accuracy of target aiming: possible involvement of noise-enhanced balance control.” Experimental Mechanics 54.1 (2014): 95-100.
  6. Fuermaier, Anselm BM, et al. “Good vibrations-effects of whole body vibration on attention in healthy individuals and individuals with ADHD.” PLoS One 9.2 (2014): e90747.
  7. Zandiyeh, P. “The effect of stochastic resonance stimulation on proprioception and postural control in anterior cruciate ligament reconstructed patients.” 2017