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|Lerner, O., Friedman, J., & Frenkel-Toledo, S. (2021). The effect of high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation intensity on motor performance in healthy adults: a randomized controlled trial. J NeuroEngineering Rehabil, 18, 103.|
Steinhart, S., Weiss, P. L., & Friedman, J. (2021). Proximal and distal movement patterns during a graphomotor task in typically developing children and children with handwriting problems. J Neuroeng Rehabil, 18(1), 178.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Therapists specializing in handwriting difficulties in children often address motor problems including both proximal and distal movements in the upper extremity. Kinematic measures can be used to investigate various aspects of handwriting. This study examined differences in movement patterns in proximal and distal joints of the upper extremity during graphomotor tasks between typically developing children with and without handwriting problems. Additionally, it explored relationships between movement patterns, speed, and legibility of writing. METHODS: Forty-one children, aged 7-11 years, were assessed with the Aleph Aleph Ktav Yad Hebrew Handwriting assessment and the Beery Test of Visual Motor Integration and, based on their scores, were divided into a research group (with handwriting difficulties) and a control group (without handwriting difficulties). Upper extremity joint movement patterns were analyzed with a motion capture system. Differences in the quality of shapes traced and copied on a graphics tablet positioned horizontally and vertically were compared. Between-group differences and relationships with speed and legibility were analyzed. RESULTS: In both groups, there was greater movement in the distal compared to the proximal joints, greater movement when performing the task in a horizontal compared to a vertical plane, and greater movement when tracing than copying. Joint movements in the arm executed scaled-down versions of the shapes being drawn. While the amount of joint displacement was similar between groups, children in the research group showed greater dissimilarity between the drawn shape and the shape produced by the proximal joints. Finally, the drawing measure on the tablet was a significant predictor of legibility, speed of writing, visual motor integration and motor coordination, whereas the dissimilarity measure of joint movement was a significant predictor of speed of writing and motor coordination. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides support for the role of the distal upper extremity joints in the writing process and some guidance to assist clinicians in devising treatment strategies for movement-related handwriting problems. While we observed differences in proximal joint movements between the children with and without handwriting difficulties, the extent to which they are responsible for the differences in drawing quality remains to be determined. Further studies should use a similar methodology to examine additional tasks such as drawing shapes of varying sizes.
Keywords: Arm; Biomechanical Phenomena; Child; *Handwriting; Humans; Motor Skills; *Movement; Upper Extremity; Distal joints; Handwriting; Motor control; Movement analysis; Proximal; Stability
Kaufman-Cohen, Y., Portnoy, S., Levanon, Y., & Friedman, J. (2019). Does Object Height Affect the Dart Throwing Motion Angle during Seated Activities of Daily Living? J Mot Behav, , 1–10.
Abstract: Complex wrist motions are needed to complete various daily activities. Analyzing the multidimensional motion of the wrist is crucial for understanding our functional movement. Several studies have shown that numerous activities of daily livings (ADLs) are performed using an oblique plane of wrist motion from radial-extension to ulnar-flexion, named the Dart Throwing Motion (DTM) plane. To the best of our knowledge, the DTM plane angle performed during ADLs has not been compared between different heights (e.g. table, shoulder and head height), as is common when performing day-to-day tasks. In this study, we compared DTM plane angles when performing different ADLs at three different heights and examined the relationship between DTM plane angles and limb position. We found that height had a significant effect on the DTM plane angles – the mean DTM plane angle was greater at the lower level compared to the mid and higher levels. A significant effect of shoulder orientation on mean DTM plane angles was shown in the sagittal and coronal planes. Our findings support the importance of training daily tasks at different heights during rehabilitation following wrist injuries, in order to explore a large range of DTM angles, to accommodate needs of common ADLs.
Keywords: dart throwing motion (DTM); heights; kinematics; seated activities of daily living (ADL); upper extremity; wrist rehabilitation
|Kaufman-Cohen, Y., Levanon, Y., Friedman, J., Yaniv, Y., & Portnoy, S. (2020). Home exercise in the dart-throwing motion plane after distal radius fractures: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Hand Therapy, .|
Portnoy, S., Rosenberg, L., Alazraki, T., Elyakim, E., & Friedman, J. (2015). Differences in Muscle Activity Patterns and Graphical Product Quality in Children Copying and Tracing Activities on Horizontal or Vertical Surfaces. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 25(3), 540�547.
Abstract: The observation that a given task, e.g. producing a signature, looks similar when created by different motor commands and different muscles groups is known as motor equivalence. Relatively little data exists regarding the characteristics of motor equivalence in children. In this study, we compared the level of performance when performing a tracing task and copying figures in two common postures: while sitting at a desk and while standing in front of a wall, among preschool children. In addition, we compared muscle activity patterns in both postures. Specifically, we compared the movements of 35 five- to six-year old children, recording the same movements of copying figures and path tracing on an electronic tablet in both a horizontal orientation, while sitting, and a vertical orientation, while standing. Different muscle activation patterns were observed between the postures, however no significant difference in the performance level was found, providing evidence of motor equivalence at this young age. The study presents a straightforward method of assessing motor equivalence that can be extended to other stages of development as well as motor disorders.
Keywords: Motor equivalence; Electromyography; Tablet; Occupational Therapy; Muscle fatigue; Motor control