Date of Award
Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)
Richard A. Foulds
The focus of this study is to observe the changes in whole hand grasp strategy, in healthy subjects, over time in a series of isometric force control learning tasks. During a series of trials with real-time visual feedback of the five finger forces, subjects adapted their grasp strategy in order to reach the target in a time efficient manner. In early trials, it is very evident that subjects focus on controlling the force output of one finger at a time until they reach the goal. As the block of trials progresses, subjects alter their strategy to a more coordinated movement to reach the target faster as they learn the coordination task. Throughout the study, forces are measured using a custom designed force measurement device. Many stroke patients do not fully recover hand function after a stroke. It has previously been shown that stroke subjects have an increase in finger enslavement or an increase in unintended force production between adjacent fingers. Ideally, using a force measurement device and a grasp shaping task, as described here, could translate to a therapy for stroke subjects enabling a faster recovery and greater finger independence.
Ebel, Robert, "Measurement of finger coordination during a motor learning task" (2017). Theses. 18.