The effects of square breathing as a vagal nerve stimulant on learning new motor strategies in unreliable proprioceptive conditions
Lack of proprioceptive feedback is one cause for the high upper-limb prosthesis abandonment rate. The lack of environmental interaction normalcy from unreliable proprioception creates dissatisfaction among prosthesis users. The purpose of this experiment is to investigate the effects of square breathing on learning to navigate without reliable proprioception. Square breathing is thought to influence the vagus nerve which is linked to increased learning rates. In this experiment, participants were instructed to reach toward targets in a semi-immersive virtual reality environment. Directional error, peak velocity, and peak acceleration of the reaching hand were investigated before and after participants underwent square breathing training. As the results of<br/>this experiment are inconclusive, further investigation needs to be done with larger sample sizes and examining unperturbed data to fully understand the effects of square breathing on learning new motor strategies in unreliable proprioceptive conditions.