Robotics-assisted Visual-motor Training Influences Arm Position Sense in Three-dimensional Space

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BackgroundPerforming activities of daily living depends, among other factors, on awareness of the position and movements of limbs. Neural injuries, such as stroke, might negatively affect such an awareness and, consequently, lead to degrading the quality of life and lengthening the motor recovery process. With the goal of improving the sense of hand position in three-dimensional (3D) space, we investigate the effects of integrating a pertinent training component within a robotic reaching task.MethodsIn the proof-of-concept study presented in this paper, 12 healthy participants, during a single session, used their dominant hand to attempt reaching without vision to two targets in 3D space, which were placed at locations that resembled the functional task of self-feeding. After each attempt, participants received visual and haptic feedback about their hand’s position to accurately locate the target. Performance was evaluated at the beginning and end of each session during an assessment in which participants reached without visual nor haptic feedback to three targets: the same two targets employed during the training phase and an additional one to evaluate the generalization of training.ResultsCollected data showed a statistically significant [39.81% (p=0.001)] reduction of end-position reaching error when results of reaching to all targets were combined. End-position error to the generalization target, although not statistically significant, was reduced by 15.47%.ConclusionsThese results provide support for the effectiveness of combining an arm position sense training component with functional motor tasks, which could be implemented in the design of future robot-assisted rehabilitation paradigms to potentially expedite the recovery process of individuals with neurological injuries.
DOI: 10.1186/s12984-020-00727-w
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Valdés, B. A., Khoshnam, M., Neva, J. L., & Menon, C. (2020). Robotics-assisted visual-motor training influences arm position sense in three-dimensional space. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 17(1), 96.
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Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
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Robotics-assisted Visual-motor Training Influences Arm Position Sense in Three-dimensional Space
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