Matching Items (52)

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The Proprioceptive Map of the Arm Is Systematic and Stable, but Idiosyncratic

Description

Visual and somatosensory signals participate together in providing an estimate of the hand's spatial location. While the ability of subjects to identify the spatial location of their hand based on

Visual and somatosensory signals participate together in providing an estimate of the hand's spatial location. While the ability of subjects to identify the spatial location of their hand based on visual and proprioceptive signals has previously been characterized, relatively few studies have examined in detail the spatial structure of the proprioceptive map of the arm. Here, we reconstructed and analyzed the spatial structure of the estimation errors that resulted when subjects reported the location of their unseen hand across a 2D horizontal workspace. Hand position estimation was mapped under four conditions: with and without tactile feedback, and with the right and left hands. In the task, we moved each subject's hand to one of 100 targets in the workspace while their eyes were closed. Then, we either a) applied tactile stimulation to the fingertip by allowing the index finger to touch the target or b) as a control, hovered the fingertip 2 cm above the target. After returning the hand to a neutral position, subjects opened their eyes to verbally report where their fingertip had been. We measured and analyzed both the direction and magnitude of the resulting estimation errors. Tactile feedback reduced the magnitude of these estimation errors, but did not change their overall structure. In addition, the spatial structure of these errors was idiosyncratic: each subject had a unique pattern of errors that was stable between hands and over time. Finally, we found that at the population level the magnitude of the estimation errors had a characteristic distribution over the workspace: errors were smallest closer to the body. The stability of estimation errors across conditions and time suggests the brain constructs a proprioceptive map that is reliable, even if it is not necessarily accurate. The idiosyncrasy across subjects emphasizes that each individual constructs a map that is unique to their own experiences.

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Date Created
  • 2011-11-16

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Discriminability of Single and Multichannel Intracortical Microstimulation within Somatosensory Cortex

Description

The addition of tactile and proprioceptive feedback to neuroprosthetic limbs is expected to significantly improve the control of these devices. Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) of somatosensory cortex is a promising method

The addition of tactile and proprioceptive feedback to neuroprosthetic limbs is expected to significantly improve the control of these devices. Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) of somatosensory cortex is a promising method of delivering this sensory feedback. To date, the main focus of somatosensory ICMS studies has been to deliver discriminable signals, corresponding to varying intensity, to a single location in cortex. However, multiple independent and simultaneous streams of sensory information will need to be encoded by ICMS to provide functionally relevant feedback for a neuroprosthetic limb (e.g., encoding contact events and pressure on multiple digits). In this study, we evaluated the ability of an awake, behaving non-human primate (Macaca mulatta) to discriminate ICMS stimuli delivered on multiple electrodes spaced within somatosensory cortex. We delivered serial stimulation on single electrodes to evaluate the discriminability of sensations corresponding to ICMS of distinct cortical locations. Additionally, we delivered trains of multichannel stimulation, derived from a tactile sensor, synchronously across multiple electrodes. Our results indicate that discrimination of multiple ICMS stimuli is a challenging task, but that discriminable sensory percepts can be elicited by both single and multichannel ICMS on electrodes spaced within somatosensory cortex.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12-02

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Uniform and Non-uniform Perturbations in Brain-Machine Interface Task Elicit Similar Neural Strategies

Description

The neural mechanisms that take place during learning and adaptation can be directly probed with brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). We developed a BMI controlled paradigm that enabled us to enforce learning

The neural mechanisms that take place during learning and adaptation can be directly probed with brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). We developed a BMI controlled paradigm that enabled us to enforce learning by introducing perturbations which changed the relationship between neural activity and the BMI's output. We introduced a uniform perturbation to the system, through a visuomotor rotation (VMR), and a non-uniform perturbation, through a decorrelation task. The controller in the VMR was essentially unchanged, but produced an output rotated at 30° from the neurally specified output. The controller in the decorrelation trials decoupled the activity of neurons that were highly correlated in the BMI task by selectively forcing the preferred directions of these cell pairs to be orthogonal. We report that movement errors were larger in the decorrelation task, and subjects needed more trials to restore performance back to baseline. During learning, we measured decreasing trends in preferred direction changes and cross-correlation coefficients regardless of task type. Conversely, final adaptations in neural tunings were dependent on the type controller used (VMR or decorrelation). These results hint to the similar process the neural population might engage while adapting to new tasks, and how, through a global process, the neural system can arrive to individual solutions.

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Date Created
  • 2016-08-23

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Digit Control During Object Handover

Description

Currently, assistive robots and prosthesis have a difficult time giving and receiving objects to and from humans. While many attempts have been made to program handover scenarios into robotic control

Currently, assistive robots and prosthesis have a difficult time giving and receiving objects to and from humans. While many attempts have been made to program handover scenarios into robotic control algorithms, the algorithms are typically lacking in at least one important feature: intuitiveness, safety, and efficiency. By performing a study to better understand human-to-human handovers, we observe trends that could inspire controllers for object handovers with robots. Ten pairs of human subjects handed over a cellular phone-shaped, instrumented object using a key pinch while 3D force and motion tracking data were recorded. It was observed that during handovers, humans apply a compressive force on the object and employ linear grip force to load force ratios when two agents are grasping an object (referred to as the "mutual grasp period"). Results also suggested that object velocity during the mutual grasp period is driven by the receiver, while the duration of the mutual grasp period is driven by the preference of the slowest agent involved in the handover. Ultimately, these findings will inspire the development of robotic handover controllers to advance seamless physical interactions between humans and robots.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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3D Robotic Assessment of Proprioception for Up, Down, and Back Directions

Description

Background. Proprioception plays a large role in everyday functioning, involving both information of body position and movement (Johnson & Panayotis, 2010). Clinical assessments of proprioception are largely subjective and are

Background. Proprioception plays a large role in everyday functioning, involving both information of body position and movement (Johnson & Panayotis, 2010). Clinical assessments of proprioception are largely subjective and are not reliable measures for testing proprioception in impaired or unimpaired individuals. Recent advancements in technology and robotics have brought about new assessments that involve position matching and other paradigms. However, the results are confined to the horizontal plane and only look at a very small subset of human proprioceptive ability. Objective. The present study looks to overcome these limitations and examine differences in proprioceptive sensitivity across different directions in 3D space. Methods. Participants were recruited from Arizona State University to perform a "same-different" discrimination test using a robotic arm. Each participant was tested along two of the three directions, and within each direction, proprioception at four distances (1-4 cm) was tested. Performance was quantified using percent correct, d' analysis, and permutation testing on median and variance values. Results. Proprioceptive sensitivity was significantly greater in the up direction vs. down and back across all distances. The greatest difference in sensitivity occurred at 3 cm; permutation tests using median and variance values from percent correct and d' found statistical significance at this distance in the up vs. down and up vs. back comparisons. Conclusions. There is evidence that proprioceptive sensitivity is greater in an anti-gravity direction (up), in comparison to gravity-assisted or gravity-neutral (down and back) directions.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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The Impact of Cochlear Implants on the Quality of Life and Personhood of Cochlear Implant Users as Expressed In Patient Narratives

Description

Cochlear implants are electronic medical devices that create hearing capabilities in those with inner ear damage that results in total or partial hearing loss. The decision to get a cochlear

Cochlear implants are electronic medical devices that create hearing capabilities in those with inner ear damage that results in total or partial hearing loss. The decision to get a cochlear implant can be difficult and controversial. Cochlear implants have many physical and social impacts on cochlear implant users. The aim of this study was to evaluate how patient narratives written by people with cochlear implants (or their caregivers) express issues of quality of life and personhood related to the use of this medical device. The methodology used to answer this question was a content analysis of patient narratives. The content analysis was done using grounded theory and the constant comparative method. Two sensitizing concepts, quality of life and personhood, were used and became the large umbrella themes found in the narratives. Under the major theme of quality of life, the sub-themes that emerged were improved hearing, improved communication skills, and assimilation into the hearing world. Under the major theme of personhood, the sub-themes that emerged were confidence, self-image, and technology and the body. Another major theme, importance of education, also emerged. In general, cochlear implant users and their caregivers expressed in their narratives that cochlear implants have positive effects on the quality of life of cochlear implant users. This is because almost all of the narrative writers reported improved hearing, improved communication skills, and better assimilation into the hearing world. In addition, it was found that cochlear implants do not have a significant affect on the actual personal identity of cochlear implant users, though they do make them more confident. The majority of cochlear implant users expressed that they view the cochlear implant device as an assistive tool they use as opposed to a part of themselves. Lastly, there is a need for more awareness of or access to education and therapy for cochlear implant users.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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A Mechanical Analysis of Trained Violinist Kinematics

Description

Central to current conceptions concerning the function of the nervous system is the consideration of how it manages to maintain precise control for repetitive tasks such as reaching, given the

Central to current conceptions concerning the function of the nervous system is the consideration of how it manages to maintain precise control for repetitive tasks such as reaching, given the extensive observable mechanical degrees of freedom. Especially in the upper extremities, there are an infinite number of orientations (degrees of freedom) that can produce the same ultimate outcome. Consider, for example, a man in a seated position pointing to an object on a table with his index finger: even if we vastly simplify the mechanics involved in that action by considering three principle joints - the shoulder, elbow, and wrist - there are an infinite number of upper arm orientations that would result in the same position of the man's index finger in three-dimensional space. It has been hypothesized that the central nervous system is capable of simplifying reaching tasks by organizing the DOFs; this suggests that repetitive, simple tasks such as reaching can be planned, that the variability in repetitive tasks is minimized, and that the central nervous system is capable of increasing stability by instantaneously resisting perturbations. Previous literature indicates that variability is decreased and stability increased in trained upper extremity movement. In this study, mechanical discrepancies between violinists of varying levels of experience were identified. It was hypothesized that variability in the positional error (deviation from an expected line of motion) and velocity of the bow, as well as the produced variability in resultant elbow angles, would decrease with increasing proficiency, and that training would have no observable effect on average peak bow velocity. Data acquisition was accomplished by constructing LED triads and implementing a PhaseSpace 3D Motion Capture system. While the positional variance and peak velocity magnitude of the bow appeared unaffected by training (p >> 0.05), more advanced players demonstrated significantly higher variability in bow velocity (p << 0.001). As such, it can be concluded that repetitive training does manifest in changes in variability; however, further investigation is required to reveal the nature of these changes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Analysis of Applied Thumb and Index Force in Trained and Untrained Violinists

Description

The purpose of this experiment is to study whether there is a difference in applied finger force between violinists of different skill proficiencies. It has been hypothesized that more experienced

The purpose of this experiment is to study whether there is a difference in applied finger force between violinists of different skill proficiencies. It has been hypothesized that more experienced violinists will apply less force during play in their thumb and index fingers. It was found that there was significant difference in the peak forces applied by the index finger, thumb, and grip (p < 0.05) in all groups except beginner and intermediate violinists in peak thumb force. Significant differences were also found in the continuous force applied by the index finger and grip as well as the standard deviation of the continuous force applied by the thumb (p < 0.05). Additionally, there were no significant differences in the correlation between continuous applied index finger and thumb forces or latency in index and thumb force between different levels or proficiencies (p > 0.05). Due to these results, the hypothesis could not be fully accepted signifying that further testing must be performed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Using Graphene as a Flex Resistor to Detect Biodynamics

Description

Over the past 30 years the use of graphene has been increasing at a rapid rate. The reason why graphene has become more popular is because it is starting to

Over the past 30 years the use of graphene has been increasing at a rapid rate. The reason why graphene has become more popular is because it is starting to be understood better, and researchers are starting to recognize graphene’s unique properties. Graphene is a single atomic layer of graphite, and graphite is a three-dimensional cube base structure of carbon. Graphite has a high conductivity rate, and graphene has an even higher conductivity, meaning that graphene makes for an excellent resistor in any hardware system. Graphene is flexible, has high durability, and can vary in resistance based on its shape (Sharon 2015). With graphene being able to change its resistivity, it can act as different types of sensors. These sensors include measuring pressure, resistance, force, strain, and angle. One problem across the globe is that patients have arthritis, decaying bone density, and injuries which can easily go mistreated or not treated at all. It can be hard to determine the severity of injuries in joints by observation of the patient. There are tools and equipment that will allow a doctor to track the force and degrees of motion of certain joints, but they are mostly limited to hospitals. With graphene acting as a sensor it can be embedded into casts, braces, and even clothing. With a mobile sensor that relays accurate and continuous data to a doctor they can more precisely determine a therapy or recovery time that will better suit the patients’ needs. In this project the graphene was used to measure the angle of a patient’s wrist while they were wearing a wrist brace. From the data collected, the graphene was able to track the user’s movement of their wrist as they moved it in a single direction. The data showed the angle of the wrist ranging from zero degrees to 90 degrees. This proves that graphene can shape the way biosensing is accomplished. Biodynamics is a growing field, and with more injuries everyday it is important to study graphene and how it can be used to diagnose and prevent injuries related to joints. Graphene can be used as a biosensor which can then be implemented into a brace to allow for accurate biodynamic tracking.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Investigation of Multimodal Tactile Cues for Multidigit Rotational Tasks

Description

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

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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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05