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Characterizing the Role of Arm Configuration on Patterns of Movement Variability in 3D Space

Description

Motor behavior is prone to variable conditions and deviates further in disorders affecting the nervous system. A combination of environmental and neural factors impacts the amount of uncertainty. Although the influence of these factors on estimating endpoint positions have been

Motor behavior is prone to variable conditions and deviates further in disorders affecting the nervous system. A combination of environmental and neural factors impacts the amount of uncertainty. Although the influence of these factors on estimating endpoint positions have been examined, the role of limb configuration on endpoint variability has been mostly ignored. Characterizing the influence of arm configuration (i.e. intrinsic factors) would allow greater comprehension of sensorimotor integration and assist in interpreting exaggerated movement variability in patients. In this study, subjects were placed in a 3-D virtual reality environment and were asked to move from a starting position to one of three targets in the frontal plane with and without visual feedback of the moving limb. The alternating of visual feedback during trials increased uncertainty between the planning and execution phases. The starting limb configurations, adducted and abducted, were varied in separate blocks. Arm configurations were setup by rotating along the shoulder-hand axis to maintain endpoint position. The investigation hypothesized: 1) patterns of endpoint variability of movements would be dependent upon the starting arm configuration and 2) any differences observed would be more apparent in conditions that withheld visual feedback. The results indicated that there were differences in endpoint variability between arm configurations in both visual conditions, but differences in variability increased when visual feedback was withheld. Overall this suggests that in the presence of visual feedback, planning of movements in 3D space mostly uses coordinates that are arm configuration independent. On the other hand, without visual feedback, planning of movements in 3D space relies substantially on intrinsic coordinates.

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2014-05

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Characterizing the Role of Arm Configuration on Patterns of Movement Variability in 3D Space

Description

Motor behavior is prone to variable conditions and deviates further in disorders affecting the nervous system. A combination of environmental and neural factors impacts the amount of uncertainty. Although the influence of these factors on estimating endpoint positions have been

Motor behavior is prone to variable conditions and deviates further in disorders affecting the nervous system. A combination of environmental and neural factors impacts the amount of uncertainty. Although the influence of these factors on estimating endpoint positions have been examined, the role of limb configuration on endpoint variability has been mostly ignored. Characterizing the influence of arm configuration (i.e. intrinsic factors) would allow greater comprehension of sensorimotor integration and assist in interpreting exaggerated movement variability in patients. In this study, subjects were placed in a 3-D virtual reality environment and were asked to move from a starting position to one of three targets in the frontal plane with and without visual feedback of the moving limb. The alternating of visual feedback during trials increased uncertainty between the planning and execution phases. The starting limb configurations, adducted and abducted, were varied in separate blocks. Arm configurations were setup by rotating along the shoulder-hand axis to maintain endpoint position. The investigation hypothesized: 1) patterns of endpoint variability of movements would be dependent upon the starting arm configuration and 2) any differences observed would be more apparent in conditions that withheld visual feedback. The results indicated that there were differences in endpoint variability between arm configurations in both visual conditions, but differences in variability increased when visual feedback was withheld. Overall this suggests that in the presence of visual feedback, planning of movements in 3D space mostly uses coordinates that are arm configuration independent. On the other hand, without visual feedback, planning of movements in 3D space relies substantially on intrinsic coordinates.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Investigation of Multimodal Tactile Cues for Multidigit Rotational Tasks

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The goal of this project was to use the sense of touch to investigate tactile cues during multidigit rotational manipulations of objects. A robotic arm and hand equipped with three multimodal tactile sensors were used to gather data about skin

The goal of this project was to use the sense of touch to investigate tactile cues during multidigit rotational manipulations of objects. A robotic arm and hand equipped with three multimodal tactile sensors were used to gather data about skin deformation during rotation of a haptic knob. Three different rotation speeds and two levels of rotation resistance were used to investigate tactile cues during knob rotation. In the future, this multidigit task can be generalized to similar rotational tasks, such as opening a bottle or turning a doorknob.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Development of Automatic Control Software for a Patient Monitoring Camera System

Description

Electroencephalogram (EEG) used simultaneously with video monitoring can record detailed patient physiology during a seizure to aid diagnosis. However, current patient monitoring systems typically require a patient to stay in view of a fixed camera limiting their freedom of movement.

Electroencephalogram (EEG) used simultaneously with video monitoring can record detailed patient physiology during a seizure to aid diagnosis. However, current patient monitoring systems typically require a patient to stay in view of a fixed camera limiting their freedom of movement. The goal of this project is to design an automatic patient monitoring system with software to track patient movement in order to increase a patient's mobility. This report discusses the impact of an automatic patient monitoring system and the design steps used to create and test a functional prototype.

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2014-05

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Sensory-motor integration for control of digit position in grasping and manipulation

Description

Dexterous manipulation is a representative task that involves sensorimotor integration underlying a fine control of movements. Over the past 30 years, research has provided significant insight, including the control mechanisms of force coordination during manipulation tasks. Successful dexterous manipulation is

Dexterous manipulation is a representative task that involves sensorimotor integration underlying a fine control of movements. Over the past 30 years, research has provided significant insight, including the control mechanisms of force coordination during manipulation tasks. Successful dexterous manipulation is thought to rely on the ability to integrate the sense of digit position with motor commands responsible for generating digit forces and placement. However, the mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of digit position-force coordination are not well understood. This dissertation addresses this question through three experiments that are based on psychophysics and object lifting tasks. It was found in psychophysics tasks that sensed relative digit position was accurately reproduced when sensorimotor transformations occurred with larger vertical fingertip separations, within the same hand, and at the same hand posture. The results from a follow-up experiment conducted in the same digit position-matching task while generating forces in different directions reveal a biased relative digit position toward the direction of force production. Specifically, subjects reproduced the thumb CoP higher than the index finger CoP when vertical digit forces were directed upward and downward, respectively, and vice versa. It was also found in lifting tasks that the ability to discriminate the relative digit position prior to lifting an object and modulate digit forces to minimize object roll as a function of digit position are robust regardless of whether motor commands for positioning the digits on the object are involved. These results indicate that the erroneous sensorimotor transformations of relative digit position reported here must be compensated during dexterous manipulation by other mechanisms, e.g., visual feedback of fingertip position. Furthermore, predicted sensory consequences derived from the efference copy of voluntary motor commands to generate vertical digit forces may override haptic sensory feedback for the estimation of relative digit position. Lastly, the sensorimotor transformations from haptic feedback to digit force modulation to position appear to be facilitated by motor commands for active digit placement in manipulation.

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2014

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Transfer of motor learning from a virtual to real task using EEG signals resulting from embodied and abstract thoughts

Description

This research is focused on two separate but related topics. The first uses an electroencephalographic (EEG) brain-computer interface (BCI) to explore the phenomenon of motor learning transfer. The second takes a closer look at the EEG-BCI itself and tests an

This research is focused on two separate but related topics. The first uses an electroencephalographic (EEG) brain-computer interface (BCI) to explore the phenomenon of motor learning transfer. The second takes a closer look at the EEG-BCI itself and tests an alternate way of mapping EEG signals into machine commands. We test whether motor learning transfer is more related to use of shared neural structures between imagery and motor execution or to more generalized cognitive factors. Using an EEG-BCI, we train one group of participants to control the movements of a cursor using embodied motor imagery. A second group is trained to control the cursor using abstract motor imagery. A third control group practices moving the cursor using an arm and finger on a touch screen. We hypothesized that if motor learning transfer is related to the use of shared neural structures then the embodied motor imagery group would show more learning transfer than the abstract imaging group. If, on the other hand, motor learning transfer results from more general cognitive processes, then the abstract motor imagery group should also demonstrate motor learning transfer to the manual performance of the same task. Our findings support that motor learning transfer is due to the use of shared neural structures between imaging and motor execution of a task. The abstract group showed no motor learning transfer despite being better at EEG-BCI control than the embodied group. The fact that more participants were able to learn EEG-BCI control using abstract imagery suggests that abstract imagery may be more suitable for EEG-BCIs for some disabilities, while embodied imagery may be more suitable for others. In Part 2, EEG data collected in the above experiment was used to train an artificial neural network (ANN) to map EEG signals to machine commands. We found that our open-source ANN using spectrograms generated from SFFTs is fundamentally different and in some ways superior to Emotiv's proprietary method. Our use of novel combinations of existing technologies along with abstract and embodied imagery facilitates adaptive customization of EEG-BCI control to meet needs of individual users.

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Date Created
2013

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Engineering approaches for improving cortical interfacing and algorithms for the evaluation of treatment resistant epilepsy

Description

Epilepsy is a group of disorders that cause seizures in approximately 2.2 million people in the United States. Over 30% of these patients have epilepsies that do not respond to treatment with anti-epileptic drugs. For this population, focal resection surgery

Epilepsy is a group of disorders that cause seizures in approximately 2.2 million people in the United States. Over 30% of these patients have epilepsies that do not respond to treatment with anti-epileptic drugs. For this population, focal resection surgery could offer long-term seizure freedom. Surgery candidates undergo a myriad of tests and monitoring to determine where and when seizures occur. The “gold standard” method for focus identification involves the placement of electrocorticography (ECoG) grids in the sub-dural space, followed by continual monitoring and visual inspection of the patient’s cortical activity. This process, however, is highly subjective and uses dated technology. Multiple studies were performed to investigate how the evaluation process could benefit from an algorithmic adjust using current ECoG technology, and how the use of new microECoG technology could further improve the process.

Computational algorithms can quickly and objectively find signal characteristics that may not be detectable with visual inspection, but many assume the data are stationary and/or linear, which biological data are not. An empirical mode decomposition (EMD) based algorithm was developed to detect potential seizures and tested on data collected from eight patients undergoing monitoring for focal resection surgery. EMD does not require linearity or stationarity and is data driven. The results suggest that a biological data driven algorithm could serve as a useful tool to objectively identify changes in cortical activity associated with seizures.

Next, the use of microECoG technology was investigated. Though both ECoG and microECoG grids are composed of electrodes resting on the surface of the cortex, changing the diameter of the electrodes creates non-trivial changes in the physics of the electrode-tissue interface that need to be accounted for. Experimenting with different recording configurations showed that proper grounding, referencing, and amplification are critical to obtain high quality neural signals from microECoG grids.

Finally, the relationship between data collected from the cortical surface with micro and macro electrodes was studied. Simultaneous recordings of the two electrode types showed differences in power spectra that suggest the inclusion of activity, possibly from deep structures, by macroelectrodes that is not accessible by microelectrodes.

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Date Created
2015