Matching Items (9)

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The effects of deep brain stimulation amplitude on motor performance in Parkinson's disease

Description

The efficacy of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in Parkinson's disease (PD) has been convincingly demonstrated in studies that compare motor performance with and without stimulation, but characterization of performance at intermediate stimulation amplitudes has been limited. This study investigated the

The efficacy of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in Parkinson's disease (PD) has been convincingly demonstrated in studies that compare motor performance with and without stimulation, but characterization of performance at intermediate stimulation amplitudes has been limited. This study investigated the effects of changing DBS amplitude in order to assess dose-response characteristics, inter-subject variability, consistency of effect across outcome measures, and day-to-day variability. Eight subjects with PD and bilateral DBS systems were evaluated at their clinically determined stimulation (CDS) and at three reduced amplitude conditions: approximately 70%, 30%, and 0% of the CDS (MOD, LOW, and OFF, respectively). Overall symptom severity and performance on a battery of motor tasks - gait, postural control, single-joint flexion-extension, postural tremor, and tapping - were assessed at each condition using the motor section of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS-III) and quantitative measures. Data were analyzed to determine whether subjects demonstrated a threshold response (one decrement in stimulation resulted in ≥ 70% of the maximum change) or a graded response to reduced stimulation. Day-to-day variability was assessed using the CDS data from the three testing sessions. Although the cohort as a whole demonstrated a graded response on several measures, there was high variability across subjects, with subsets exhibiting graded, threshold, or minimal responses. Some subjects experienced greater variability in their CDS performance across the three days than the change induced by reducing stimulation. For several tasks, a subset of subjects exhibited improved performance at one or more of the reduced conditions. Reducing stimulation did not affect all subjects equally, nor did it uniformly affect each subject's performance across tasks. These results indicate that altered recruitment of neural structures can differentially affect motor capabilities and demonstrate the need for clinical consideration of the effects on multiple symptoms across several days when selecting DBS parameters.

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Date Created
2013

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Smart glove: an assistive device to enhance recovery of hand function during motor rehabilitation

Description

Stroke accounts for high rates of mortality and disability in the United States. It levies great economic burden on the affected subjects, their family and the society at large. Motor impairments after stroke mainly manifest themselves as hemiplegia or hemiparesis

Stroke accounts for high rates of mortality and disability in the United States. It levies great economic burden on the affected subjects, their family and the society at large. Motor impairments after stroke mainly manifest themselves as hemiplegia or hemiparesis in the upper and lower limbs. Motor recovery is highly variable but can be enhanced through motor rehabilitation with sufficient movement repetition and intensity. Cost effective assistive devices that can augment therapy by increasing movement repetition both at home and in the clinic may facilitate recovery. This thesis aims to develop a Smart Glove that can enhance motor recovery by providing feedback to both the therapist and the patient on the number of hand movements (wrist and finger extensions) performed during therapy. The design implements resistive flex sensors for detecting the extensions and processes the information using the Lightblue bean microcontroller mounted on the wrist. Communication between the processing unit and display module is wireless and executes Bluetooth 4.0 communication protocol. The capacity for the glove to measure and record hand movements was tested on three stroke and one traumatic brain injured patient while performing a box and blocks test. During testing many design flaws were noted and several were adapted during testing to improve the function of the glove. Results of the testing showed that the glove could detect wrist and finger extensions but that the sensitivity had to be calibrated for each patient. It also allowed both the therapist and patient to know whether the patient was actually performing the task in the manner requested by the therapist. Further work will reveal whether this feedback can enhance recovery of hand function in neurologically impaired patients.

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Date Created
2015

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Dexterous manipulation: sensorimotor learning and control

Description

Humans' ability to perform fine object and tool manipulation is a defining feature of their sensorimotor repertoire. How the central nervous system builds and maintains internal representations of such skilled hand-object interactions has attracted significant attention over the past three

Humans' ability to perform fine object and tool manipulation is a defining feature of their sensorimotor repertoire. How the central nervous system builds and maintains internal representations of such skilled hand-object interactions has attracted significant attention over the past three decades. Nevertheless, two major gaps exist: a) how digit positions and forces are coordinated during natural manipulation tasks, and b) what mechanisms underlie the formation and retention of internal representations of dexterous manipulation. This dissertation addresses these two questions through five experiments that are based on novel grip devices and experimental protocols. It was found that high-level representation of manipulation tasks can be learned in an effector-independent fashion. Specifically, when challenged by trial-to-trial variability in finger positions or using digits that were not previously engaged in learning the task, subjects could adjust finger forces to compensate for this variability, thus leading to consistent task performance. The results from a follow-up experiment conducted in a virtual reality environment indicate that haptic feedback is sufficient to implement the above coordination between digit position and forces. However, it was also found that the generalizability of a learned manipulation is limited across tasks. Specifically, when subjects learned to manipulate the same object across different contexts that require different motor output, interference was found at the time of switching contexts. Data from additional studies provide evidence for parallel learning processes, which are characterized by different rates of decay and learning. These experiments have provided important insight into the neural mechanisms underlying learning and control of object manipulation. The present findings have potential biomedical applications including brain-machine interfaces, rehabilitation of hand function, and prosthetics.

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2013

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Characterizing feedforward and feedback grasp control mechanisms in early phases of manipulation

Description

Anticipatory planning of digit positions and forces is critical for successful dexterous object manipulation. Anticipatory (feedforward) planning bypasses the inherent delays in reflex responses and sensorimotor integration associated with reactive (feedback) control. It has been suggested that feedforward and feedback

Anticipatory planning of digit positions and forces is critical for successful dexterous object manipulation. Anticipatory (feedforward) planning bypasses the inherent delays in reflex responses and sensorimotor integration associated with reactive (feedback) control. It has been suggested that feedforward and feedback strategies can be distinguished based on the profile of grip and load force rates during the period between initial contact with the object and object lift. However, this has not been validated in tasks that do not constrain digit placement. The purposes of this thesis were (1) to validate the hypothesis that force rate profiles are indicative of the control strategy used for object manipulation and (2) to test this hypothesis by comparing manipulation tasks performed with and without digit placement constraints. The first objective comprised two studies. In the first study an additional light or heavy mass was added to the base of the object. In the second study a mass was added, altering the object's center of mass (CM) location. In each experiment digit force rates were calculated between the times of initial digit contact and object lift. Digit force rates were fit to a Gaussian bell curve and the goodness of fit was compared across predictable and unpredictable mass and CM conditions. For both experiments, a predictable object mass and CM elicited bell shaped force rate profiles, indicative of feedforward control. For the second objective, a comparison of performance between subjects who performed the grasp task with either constrained or unconstrained digit contact locations was conducted. When digit location was unconstrained and CM was predictable, force rates were well fit to a bell shaped curve. However, the goodness of fit of the force rate profiles to the bell shaped curve was weaker for the constrained than the unconstrained digit placement condition. These findings seem to indicate that brain can generate an appropriate feedforward control strategy even when digit placement is unconstrained and an infinite combination of digit placement and force solutions exists to lift the object successfully. Future work is needed that investigates the role digit positioning and tactile feedback has on anticipatory control of object manipulation.

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Date Created
2011

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Relative phase dynamics in motor-respiratory coordination

Description

Motor-respiratory coordination is the synchronization of movement and breathing during exercise. The relation between movement and breathing can be described using relative phase, a measure of the location in the movement cycle relative to the location in the breathing cycle.

Motor-respiratory coordination is the synchronization of movement and breathing during exercise. The relation between movement and breathing can be described using relative phase, a measure of the location in the movement cycle relative to the location in the breathing cycle. Stability in that relative phase relation has been identified as important for aerobic efficiency. However, performance can be overly attracted to stable relative phases, preventing the performance or learning of more complex patterns. Little research exists on relative phase dynamics in motor-respiratory coordination, although those observations underscore the importance of learning more. In contrast, there is an extensive literature on relative phase dynamics in interlimb coordination. The accuracy and stability of different relative phases, transitions between patterns, and asymmetries between components are well understood. Theoretically, motor-respiratory and interlimb coordination may share dynamical properties that operate in their different physiological substrates. An existing model of relative phase dynamics in interlimb coordination, the Haken, Kelso, Bunz model, was used to gain an understanding of relative phase dynamics in the less-researched motor-respiratory coordination. Experiments 1 and 2 were designed to examine the interaction of frequency asymmetries between movement and breathing with relative phase and frequency, respectively. In Experiment 3, relative phase stability and transitions in motor-respiratory coordination were explored. Perceptual constraints on differences in stability were investigated in Experiment 4. Across experiments, contributions relevant to questions of coordinative variability were made using a dynamical method called cross recurrence quantification analysis. Results showed much consistency with predictions from an asymmetric extension of the Haken, Kelso, Bunz model and theoretical interpretation in the interlimb coordination literature, including phase wandering, intermittency, and an interdependence of perception and action. There were, however, notable exceptions that indicated stability can decrease with more natural frequency asymmetries and the connection of cross recurrence measures to categories of variability needs further clarification. The complex relative phase dynamics displayed in this study suggest that movement and breathing are softly-assembled by functional constraints and indicate that motor-respiratory coordination is a self-organized system.

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Date Created
2010

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Influence of sensorimotor noise on the planning and control of reaching in 3-dimensional space

Description

The ability to plan, execute, and control goal oriented reaching and grasping movements is among the most essential functions of the brain. Yet, these movements are inherently variable; a result of the noise pervading the neural signals underlying sensorimotor processing.

The ability to plan, execute, and control goal oriented reaching and grasping movements is among the most essential functions of the brain. Yet, these movements are inherently variable; a result of the noise pervading the neural signals underlying sensorimotor processing. The specific influences and interactions of these noise processes remain unclear. Thus several studies have been performed to elucidate the role and influence of sensorimotor noise on movement variability. The first study focuses on sensory integration and movement planning across the reaching workspace. An experiment was designed to examine the relative contributions of vision and proprioception to movement planning by measuring the rotation of the initial movement direction induced by a perturbation of the visual feedback prior to movement onset. The results suggest that contribution of vision was relatively consistent across the evaluated workspace depths; however, the influence of vision differed between the vertical and later axes indicate that additional factors beyond vision and proprioception influence movement planning of 3-dimensional movements. If the first study investigated the role of noise in sensorimotor integration, the second and third studies investigate relative influence of sensorimotor noise on reaching performance. Specifically, they evaluate how the characteristics of neural processing that underlie movement planning and execution manifest in movement variability during natural reaching. Subjects performed reaching movements with and without visual feedback throughout the movement and the patterns of endpoint variability were compared across movement directions. The results of these studies suggest a primary role of visual feedback noise in shaping patterns of variability and in determining the relative influence of planning and execution related noise sources. The final work considers a computational approach to characterizing how sensorimotor processes interact to shape movement variability. A model of multi-modal feedback control was developed to simulate the interaction of planning and execution noise on reaching variability. The model predictions suggest that anisotropic properties of feedback noise significantly affect the relative influence of planning and execution noise on patterns of reaching variability.

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Date Created
2012

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Perturbing neural feedback loops to understand the relationships of their parts

Description

The basal ganglia are four sub-cortical nuclei associated with motor control and reward learning. They are part of numerous larger mostly segregated loops where the basal ganglia receive inputs from specific regions of cortex. Converging on these inputs are dopaminergic

The basal ganglia are four sub-cortical nuclei associated with motor control and reward learning. They are part of numerous larger mostly segregated loops where the basal ganglia receive inputs from specific regions of cortex. Converging on these inputs are dopaminergic neurons that alter their firing based on received and/or predicted rewarding outcomes of a behavior. The basal ganglia's output feeds through the thalamus back to the areas of the cortex where the loop originated. Understanding the dynamic interactions between the various parts of these loops is critical to understanding the basal ganglia's role in motor control and reward based learning. This work developed several experimental techniques that can be applied to further study basal ganglia function. The first technique used micro-volume injections of low concentration muscimol to decrease the firing rates of recorded neurons in a limited area of cortex in rats. Afterwards, an artificial cerebrospinal fluid flush was injected to rapidly eliminate the muscimol's effects. This technique was able to contain the effects of muscimol to approximately a 1 mm radius volume and limited the duration of the drug effect to less than one hour. This technique could be used to temporarily perturb a small portion of the loops involving the basal ganglia and then observe how these effects propagate in other connected regions. The second part applied self-organizing maps (SOM) to find temporal patterns in neural firing rate that are independent of behavior. The distribution of detected patterns frequency on these maps can then be used to determine if changes in neural activity are occurring over time. The final technique focused on the role of the basal ganglia in reward learning. A new conditioning technique was created to increase the occurrence of selected patterns of neural activity without utilizing any external reward or behavior. A pattern of neural activity in the cortex of rats was selected using an SOM. The pattern was then reinforced by being paired with electrical stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle triggering dopamine release in the basal ganglia. Ultimately, this technique proved unsuccessful possibly due to poor selection of the patterns being reinforced.

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Date Created
2014

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Geometric approaches for modeling movement quality: applications in motor control and therapy

Description

There has been tremendous technological advancement in the past two decades. Faster computers and improved sensing devices have broadened the research scope in computer vision. With these developments, the task of assessing the quality of human actions, is considered an

There has been tremendous technological advancement in the past two decades. Faster computers and improved sensing devices have broadened the research scope in computer vision. With these developments, the task of assessing the quality of human actions, is considered an important problem that needs to be tackled. Movement quality assessment finds wide range of application in motor control, health-care, rehabilitation and physical therapy. Home-based interactive physical therapy requires the ability to monitor, inform and assess the quality of everyday movements. Obtaining labeled data from trained therapists/experts is the main limitation, since it is both expensive and time consuming.

Motivated by recent studies in motor control and therapy, in this thesis an existing computational framework is used to assess balance impairment and disease severity in people suffering from Parkinson's disease. The framework uses high-dimensional shape descriptors of the reconstructed phase space, of the subjects' center of pressure (CoP) tracings while performing dynamical postural shifts. The performance of the framework is evaluated using a dataset collected from 43 healthy and 17 Parkinson's disease impaired subjects, and outperforms other methods, such as dynamical shift indices and use of chaotic invariants, in assessment of balance impairment.

In this thesis, an unsupervised method is also proposed that measures movement quality assessment of simple actions like sit-to-stand and dynamic posture shifts by modeling the deviation of a given movement from an ideal movement path in the configuration space, i.e. the quality of movement is directly related to similarity to the ideal trajectory, between the start and end pose. The S^1xS^1 configuration space was used to model the interaction of two joint angles in sit-to-stand actions, and the R^2 space was used to model the subject's CoP while performing dynamic posture shifts for application in movement quality estimation.

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Date Created
2016

Sonja Vernes, et al.'s Experiments On the Gene Networks Affected by the Foxp2 Protein (2011)

Description

In 2011, Sonja Vernes and Simon Fisher performed a series of experiments to determine which developmental processes are controlled by the mouse protein Foxp2. Previous research showed that altering the Foxp2 protein changed how neurons grew, so Vernes and Fisher

In 2011, Sonja Vernes and Simon Fisher performed a series of experiments to determine which developmental processes are controlled by the mouse protein Foxp2. Previous research showed that altering the Foxp2 protein changed how neurons grew, so Vernes and Fisher hypothesized that Foxp2 would affect gene networks that involved in the development of neurons, or nerve cells. Their results confirmed that Foxp2 affected the development of gene networks involved in the growth of neurons, as well as networks that are involved in cell specialization and cell communication. The researchers determined that Foxp2 is important for a variety of developmental processes such as motor control, language acquisition, and cognition.

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2017-05-30