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Date Range
2011 2017

Humans are able to intuitively exploit the shape of an object and environmental constraints to achieve stable grasps and perform dexterous manipulations. In doing that, a vast range of kinematic strategies can be observed. However, in this work we formulate the hypothesis that such ability can be described in terms of a synergistic behavior in the generation of hand postures, i.e., using a reduced set of commonly used kinematic patterns. This is in analogy with previous studies showing the presence of such behavior in different tasks, such as grasping. We investigated this hypothesis in experiments performed by six subjects, who ...

Contributors
Della Santina, Cosimo, Bianchi, Matteo, Averta, Giuseppe, et al.
Created Date
2017-08-29

Background Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a compression neuropathy of the median nerve that results in sensorimotor deficits in the hand. Until recently, the effects of CTS on hand function have been studied using mostly two-digit grip tasks. The purpose of this study was to investigate the coordination of multi-digit forces as a function of object center of mass (CM) during whole-hand grasping. Methods Fourteen CTS patients and age- and gender-matched controls were instructed to grasp, lift, hold, and release a grip device with five digits for seven consecutive lifts while maintaining its vertical orientation. The object CM was changed ...

Contributors
Zhang, Wei, Johnston, Jamie A., Ross, Mark A., et al.
Created Date
2012-11-21

Sensorimotor control theories propose that the central nervous system exploits expected sensory consequences generated by motor commands for movement planning, as well as online sensory feedback for comparison with expected sensory feedback for monitoring and correcting, if needed, ongoing motor output. In our study, we tested this theoretical framework by quantifying the functional role of expected vs. actual proprioceptive feedback for planning and regulation of gait in humans. We addressed this question by using a novel methodological approach to deliver fast perturbations of the walking surface stiffness, in conjunction with a virtual reality system that provided visual feedback of upcoming ...

Contributors
Frost, Ryan, Skidmore, Jeffrey, Santello, Marco, et al.
Created Date
2015-02-09

The intact nervous system has an exquisite ability to modulate the activity of multiple muscles acting at one or more joints to produce an enormous range of actions. Seemingly simple tasks, such as reaching for an object or walking, in fact rely on very complex spatial and temporal patterns of muscle activations. Neurological disorders such as stroke and focal dystonia affect the ability to coordinate multi-joint movements. This article reviews the state of the art of research of muscle synergies in the intact and damaged nervous system, their implications for recovery and rehabilitation, and proposes avenues for research aimed at ...

Contributors
Santello, Marco, Lang, Catherine E., Arizona State University. School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering. Neural Control of Movement Laboratory
Created Date
2015-01-06

Myoelectric artificial limbs can significantly advance the state of the art in prosthetics, since they can be used to control mechatronic devices through muscular activity in a way that mimics how the subjects used to activate their muscles before limb loss. However, surveys indicate that dissatisfaction with the functionality of terminal devices underlies the widespread abandonment of prostheses. We believe that one key factor to improve acceptability of prosthetic devices is to attain human likeness of prosthesis movements, a goal which is being pursued by research on social and human–robot interactions. Therefore, to reduce early abandonment of terminal devices, we ...

Contributors
Fani, Simone, Bianchi, Matteo, Jain, Sonal, et al.
Created Date
2016-10-17

Pure coconut oil, lanolin, and acetaminophen were vaporized at rates of 1–50 mg/min, using a porous network exhibiting a temperature gradient from 5000 to 5500 K/mm, without incurring noticeable chemical changes due to combustion, oxidation, or other thermally-induced chemical structural changes. The newly coined term “ereptiospiration” is used here to describe this combination of thermal transpiration at high temperature gradients since the process can force the creation of thermal aerosols by rapid heating in a localized zone. Experimental data were generated for these materials using two different supports for metering the materials to the battery powered coil: namely, a stainless ...

Contributors
Woolley, Christine, Garcia, Antonio, Santello, Marco, et al.
Created Date
2017-04-12

Humans are able to modulate digit forces as a function of position despite changes in digit placement that might occur from trial to trial or when changing grip type for object manipulation. Although this phenomenon is likely to rely on sensing the position of the digits relative to each other and the object, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. To address this question, we asked subjects (n = 30) to match perceived vertical distance between the center of pressure (CoP) of the thumb and index finger pads (d[subscript y]) of the right hand (“reference” hand) using the same hand (“test” hand). ...

Contributors
Shibata, Daisuke, Kappers, Astrid M. L., Santello, Marco, et al.
Created Date
2014-08-04

How the human brain controls hand movements to carry out different tasks is still debated. The concept of synergy has been proposed to indicate functional modules that may simplify the control of hand postures by simultaneously recruiting sets of muscles and joints. However, whether and to what extent synergic hand postures are encoded as such at a cortical level remains unknown. Here, we combined kinematic, electromyography, and brain activity measures obtained by functional magnetic resonance imaging while subjects performed a variety of movements towards virtual objects. Hand postural information, encoded through kinematic synergies, were represented in cortical areas devoted to ...

Contributors
Leo, Andrea, Handjaras, Giacomo, Bianchi, Matteo, et al.
Created Date
2016-02-15

Introduction: Options currently available to individuals with upper limb loss range from prosthetic hands that can perform many movements, but require more cognitive effort to control, to simpler terminal devices with limited functional abilities. We attempted to address this issue by designing a myoelectric control system to modulate prosthetic hand posture and digit force distribution. Methods: We recorded surface electromyographic (EMG) signals from five forearm muscles in eight able-bodied subjects while they modulated hand posture and the flexion force distribution of individual fingers. We used a support vector machine (SVM) and a random forest regression (RFR) to map EMG signal ...

Contributors
Gailey, Alycia, Artemiadis, Panagiotis, Santello, Marco, et al.
Created Date
2017-02-01

The human hand has so many degrees of freedom that it may seem impossible to control. A potential solution to this problem is “synergy control” which combines dimensionality reduction with great flexibility. With applicability to a wide range of tasks, this has become a very popular concept. In this review, we describe the evolution of the modern concept using studies of kinematic and force synergies in human hand control, neurophysiology of cortical and spinal neurons, and electromyographic (EMG) activity of hand muscles. We go beyond the often purely descriptive usage of synergy by reviewing the organization of the underlying neuronal ...

Contributors
Santello, Marco, Baud-Bovy, Gabriel, Jorntell, Henrik, et al.
Created Date
2013-04-08