Using visual feedback distortion to alter coordinated pinching patterns for robotic rehabilitation.

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Abstract or Description

BACKGROUND: It is common for individuals with chronic disabilities to continue using the compensatory movement coordination due to entrenched habits, increased perception of task difficulty, or personality variables such as low self-efficacy or a fear of failure. Following our previous work using feedback distortion in a virtual rehabilitation environment to increase strength and range of motion, we address the use of visual feedback distortion environment to alter movement coordination patterns.

METHODS: Fifty-one able-bodied subjects participated in the study. During the experiment, each subject learned to move their index finger and thumb in a particular target pattern while receiving visual feedback. Visual distortion was implemented as a magnification of the error between the thumb and/or index finger position and the desired position. The error reduction profile and the effect of distortion were analyzed by comparing the mean total absolute error and a normalized error that measured performance improvement for each subject as a proportion of the baseline error.

RESULTS: The results of the study showed that (1) different coordination pattern could be trained with visual feedback and have the new pattern transferred to trials without visual feedback, (2) distorting individual finger at a time allowed different error reduction profile from the controls, and (3) overall learning was not sped up by distorting individual fingers.

CONCLUSION: It is important that robotic rehabilitation incorporates multi-limb or finger coordination tasks that are important for activities of daily life in the near future. This study marks the first investigation on multi-finger coordination tasks under visual feedback manipulation.




Published In

Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 4, 17-17.