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Friedman, J., Brown, S., & Finkbeiner, M. (2013). Linking cognitive and reaching trajectories via intermittent movement control. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 57(3-4), 140–151.
Abstract: Theories of decision-making have traditionally been constrained by reaction time data. A limitation of reaction time data, particularly for studying the temporal dynamics of cognitive processing, is that they index only the endpoint of the decision making process. Recently, physical reaching trajectories have been used as proxies for underlying mental trajectories through decision space. We suggest that this approach has been oversimplified: while it is possible for the motor control system to access the current state of the evidence accumulation process, this access is intermittent. Instead, we demonstrate how a model of arm movements that assumes intermittent, not continuous, access to the decision process is sufficient to describe the effects of stimulus quality and viewing time in curved reaching movements.
Levin, M. F., Liebermann, D. G., Parmet, Y., & Berman, S. (2015). Compensatory Versus Noncompensatory Shoulder Movements Used for Reaching in Stroke. Neurorehabil Neural Repair, .
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The extent to which the upper-limb flexor synergy constrains or compensates for arm motor impairment during reaching is controversial. This synergy can be quantified with a minimal marker set describing movements of the arm-plane. OBJECTIVES: To determine whether and how (a) upper-limb flexor synergy in patients with chronic stroke contributes to reaching movements to different arm workspace locations and (b) reaching deficits can be characterized by arm-plane motion. METHODS: Sixteen post-stroke and 8 healthy control subjects made unrestrained reaching movements to targets located in ipsilateral, central, and contralateral arm workspaces. Arm-plane, arm, and trunk motion, and their temporal and spatial linkages were analyzed. RESULTS: Individuals with moderate/severe stroke used greater arm-plane movement and compensatory trunk movement compared to those with mild stroke and control subjects. Arm-plane and trunk movements were more temporally coupled in stroke compared with controls. Reaching accuracy was related to different segment and joint combinations for each target and group: arm-plane movement in controls and mild stroke subjects, and trunk and elbow movements in moderate/severe stroke subjects. Arm-plane movement increased with time since stroke and when combined with trunk rotation, discriminated between different subject groups for reaching the central and contralateral targets. Trunk movement and arm-plane angle during target reaches predicted the subject group. CONCLUSIONS: The upper-limb flexor synergy was used adaptively for reaching accuracy by patients with mild, but not moderate/severe stroke. The flexor synergy, as parameterized by the amount of arm-plane motion, can be used by clinicians to identify levels of motor recovery in patients with stroke.
Merdler, T., Liebermann, D. G., Levin, M. F., & Berman, S. (2013). Arm-plane representation of shoulder compensation during pointing movements in patients with stroke. J Electromyogr Kinesiol, 23(4), 938–947.
Abstract: Improvements in functional motor activities are often accompanied by motor compensations to overcome persistent motor impairment in the upper limb. Kinematic analysis is used to objectively quantify movement patterns including common motor compensations such as excessive trunk displacement during reaching. However, a common motor compensation to assist reaching, shoulder abduction, is not adequately characterized by current motion analysis approaches. We apply the arm-plane representation that accounts for the co-variation between movements of the whole arm, and investigate its ability to identify and quantify compensatory arm movements in stroke subjects when making forward arm reaches. This method has not been previously applied to the analysis of motion deficits. Sixteen adults with right post-stroke hemiparesis and eight healthy age-matched controls reached in three target directions (14 trials/target; sampling rate: 100Hz). Arm-plane movement was validated against endpoint, joint, and trunk kinematics and compared between groups. In stroke subjects, arm-plane measures were correlated with arm impairment (Fugl-Meyer Assessment) and ability (Box and Blocks) scores and were more sensitive than clinical measures to detect mild motor impairment. Arm-plane motion analysis provides new information about motor compensations involving the co-variation of shoulder and elbow movements that may help to understand the underlying motor deficits in patients with stroke.