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Liebermann, D. G., & Defrin, R. (2009). Characteristics of the nociceptive withdrawal response elicited under aware and unaware conditions. J Electromyogr Kinesiol, 19(2), e114–22.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Nociceptive withdrawal reflexes (NWR) are subject to supraspinal modulation. Therefore, awareness about a noxious stimulation may affect its characteristics. The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of different degrees of awareness on the NWR. METHOD: Eight subjects performed back and forth hand movements from a common starting point towards four visual targets during which NWR was evoked when subjects were either unaware or aware of a noxious stimulation (unaware-NWR and aware-NWR). For the comparison between the NWR under both conditions, onset latencies and kinematic variables were computed respectively from the recorded Biceps Brachii EMG and from the spatial coordinates of hand reflective markers. RESULTS: The onset latency of unaware-NWR (mean+/-SD 73.9+/-13 ms) was significantly shorter than that of the aware-NWR (91.1+/-27 ms, p<0.05). The total duration of the muscular activation was shorter in unaware-NWR than in aware-NWR. The slopes of the tangential velocity-time curves were steeper for unaware-NWR than for aware-NWR (p=0.057). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that supraspinal regulation of NWR under different degrees of awareness involves the re-parameterization of selected spatiotemporal aspects of a pre-structured motor response.
Keywords: Adult; Arm/*physiopathology; Attention; *Awareness; Cues; Female; Humans; Male; Movement; *Muscle Contraction; Muscle, Skeletal/*physiopathology; Pain/*physiopathology; *Reflex; *Startle Reaction
Liebermann, D. G., Levin, M. F., McIntyre, J., Weiss, P. L., & Berman, S. (2010). Arm path fragmentation and spatiotemporal features of hand reaching in healthy subjects and stroke patients. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc, 2010, 5242–5245.
Abstract: Arm motion in healthy humans is characterized by smooth and relatively short paths. The current study focused on 3D reaching in stroke patients. Sixteen right-hemiparetic stroke patients and 8 healthy adults performed 42 reaching movements towards 3 visual targets located at an extended arm distance. Performance was assessed in terms of spatial and temporal features of the movement; i.e., hand path, arm posture and smoothness. Differences between groups and within subjects were hypothesized for spatial and temporal aspects of reaching under the assumption that both are independent. As expected, upper limb motion of patients was characterized by longer and jerkier hand paths and slower speeds. Assessment of the number of sub-movements within each movement did not clearly discriminate between groups. Principal component analyses revealed specific clusters of either spatial or temporal measures, which accounted for a large proportion of the variance in patients but not in healthy controls. These findings support the notion of a separation between spatial and temporal features of movement. Stroke patients may fail to integrate the two aspects when executing reaching movements towards visual targets.
Keywords: Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Analysis of Variance; Arm/*physiology; Biomechanics/physiology; Female; Hand/*physiology; *Health; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Movement/*physiology; Posture/physiology; Principal Component Analysis; Stroke/*physiopathology; Time Factors