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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Contributor
Date Range
2011 2019


Anticipatory planning of digit positions and forces is critical for successful dexterous object manipulation. Anticipatory (feedforward) planning bypasses the inherent delays in reflex responses and sensorimotor integration associated with reactive (feedback) control. It has been suggested that feedforward and feedback strategies can be distinguished based on the profile of grip and load force rates during the period between initial contact with the object and object lift. However, this has not been validated in tasks that do not constrain digit placement. The purposes of this thesis were (1) to validate the hypothesis that force rate profiles are indicative of the control …

Contributors
Cooperhouse, Michael Aaron, Santello, Marco, Helms Tillery, Stephen, et al.
Created Date
2011

This dissertation includes two parts. First it focuses on discussing robust signal processing algorithms, which lead to consistent performance under perturbation or uncertainty in video target tracking applications. Projective distortion plagues the quality of long sequence mosaicking which results in loosing important target information. Some correction techniques require prior information. A new algorithm is proposed in this dissertation to this very issue. Optimization and parameter tuning of a robust camera motion estimation as well as implementation details are discussed for a real-time application using an ordinary general-purpose computer. Performance evaluations on real-world unmanned air vehicle (UAV) videos demonstrate the robustness …

Contributors
Yang, Chenhui, Si, Jennie, Jassemidis, Leonidas, et al.
Created Date
2012

Humans' ability to perform fine object and tool manipulation is a defining feature of their sensorimotor repertoire. How the central nervous system builds and maintains internal representations of such skilled hand-object interactions has attracted significant attention over the past three decades. Nevertheless, two major gaps exist: a) how digit positions and forces are coordinated during natural manipulation tasks, and b) what mechanisms underlie the formation and retention of internal representations of dexterous manipulation. This dissertation addresses these two questions through five experiments that are based on novel grip devices and experimental protocols. It was found that high-level representation of manipulation …

Contributors
Fu, Qiushi, Santello, Marco, Helms Tillery, Stephen, et al.
Created Date
2013

Reaching movements are subject to noise in both the planning and execution phases of movement production. Although the effects of these noise sources in estimating and/or controlling endpoint position have been examined in many studies, the independent effects of limb configuration on endpoint variability have been largely ignored. The present study investigated the effects of arm configuration on the interaction between planning noise and execution noise. Subjects performed reaching movements to three targets located in a frontal plane. At the starting position, subjects matched one of two desired arm configuration 'templates' namely "adducted" and "abducted". These arm configurations were obtained …

Contributors
Lakshminarayanan, Kishor, Buneo, Christopher, Santello, Marco, et al.
Created Date
2013

Our eyes never stop moving, even during attempted gaze fixation. Fixational eye movements, which include tremor, drift, and microsaccades, are necessary to prevent retinal image adaptation, but may also result in unstable vision. Fortunately, the nervous system can suppress the retinal displacements induced by fixational eye movements and consequently keep our vision stable. The neural correlates of perceptual suppression during fixational eye movements are controversial. Also, the contribution of retinal versus extraretinal inputs to microsaccade-induced neuronal responses in the primary visual cortex (i.e. area V1) remain unclear. Here I show that V1 neuronal responses to microsaccades are different from those …

Contributors
Najafian Jazi, Ali, Buneo, Christopher, Martinez-Conde, Susana, et al.
Created Date
2013

When surgical resection becomes necessary to alleviate a patient's epileptiform activity, that patient is monitored by video synchronized with electrocorticography (ECoG) to determine the type and location of seizure focus. This provides a unique opportunity for researchers to gather neurophysiological data with high temporal and spatial resolution; these data are assessed prior to surgical resection to ensure the preservation of the patient's quality of life, e.g. avoid the removal of brain tissue required for speech processing. Currently considered the "gold standard" for the mapping of cortex, electrical cortical stimulation (ECS) involves the systematic activation of pairs of electrodes to localize …

Contributors
Lingo Vangilder, Jennapher Lindsey, Helms Tillery, Stephen I, Wahnoun, Remy, et al.
Created Date
2013

Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) within somatosensory cortex can produce artificial sensations including touch, pressure, and vibration. There is significant interest in using ICMS to provide sensory feedback for a prosthetic limb. In such a system, information recorded from sensors on the prosthetic would be translated into electrical stimulation and delivered directly to the brain, providing feedback about features of objects in contact with the prosthetic. To achieve this goal, multiple simultaneous streams of information will need to be encoded by ICMS in a manner that produces robust, reliable, and discriminable sensations. The first segment of this work focuses on the discriminability …

Contributors
Overstreet, Cynthia Kay, Helms Tillery, Stephen I, Santos, Veronica, et al.
Created Date
2013

Advances in implantable MEMS technology has made possible adaptive micro-robotic implants that can track and record from single neurons in the brain. Development of autonomous neural interfaces opens up exciting possibilities of micro-robots performing standard electrophysiological techniques that would previously take researchers several hundred hours to train and achieve the desired skill level. It would result in more reliable and adaptive neural interfaces that could record optimal neural activity 24/7 with high fidelity signals, high yield and increased throughput. The main contribution here is validating adaptive strategies to overcome challenges in autonomous navigation of microelectrodes inside the brain. The following …

Contributors
Anand, Sindhu, Muthuswamy, Jitendran, Tillery, Stephen H, et al.
Created Date
2013

Learning by trial-and-error requires retrospective information that whether a past action resulted in a rewarded outcome. Previous outcome in turn may provide information to guide future behavioral adjustment. But the specific contribution of this information to learning a task and the neural representations during the trial-and-error learning process is not well understood. In this dissertation, such learning is analyzed by means of single unit neural recordings in the rats' motor agranular medial (AGm) and agranular lateral (AGl) while the rats learned to perform a directional choice task. Multichannel chronic recordings using implanted microelectrodes in the rat's brain were essential to …

Contributors
Yuan, Yuan, Si, Jennie, Buneo, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2014

Animals learn to choose a proper action among alternatives according to the circumstance. Through trial-and-error, animals improve their odds by making correct association between their behavioral choices and external stimuli. While there has been an extensive literature on the theory of learning, it is still unclear how individual neurons and a neural network adapt as learning progresses. In this dissertation, single units in the medial and lateral agranular (AGm and AGl) cortices were recorded as rats learned a directional choice task. The task required the rat to make a left/right side lever press if a light cue appeared on the …

Contributors
Mao, Hongwei, Si, Jennie, Buneo, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2014

Gait and balance disorders are the second leading cause of falls in the elderly. Investigating the changes in static and dynamic balance due to aging may provide a better understanding of the effects of aging on postural control system. Static and dynamic balance were evaluated in a total of 21 young (21-35 years) and 22 elderly (50-75 years) healthy subjects while they performed three different tasks: quiet standing, dynamic weight shifts, and over ground walking. During the quiet standing task, the subjects stood with their eyes open and eyes closed. When performing dynamic weight shifts task, subjects shifted their Center …

Contributors
Balasubramanian, Shruthi, Krishnamurthi, Narayanan, Abbas, James, et al.
Created Date
2014

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that produces a characteristic set of neuromotor deficits that sometimes includes reduced amplitude and velocity of movement. Several studies have shown that people with PD improved their motor performance when presented with external cues. Other work has demonstrated that high velocity and large amplitude exercises can increase the amplitude and velocity of movement in simple carryover tasks in the upper and lower extremities. Although the cause for these effects is not known, improvements due to cueing suggest that part of the neuromotor deficit in PD is in the integration of sensory feedback to …

Contributors
Smith, Catherine, Abbas, James J, Ingalls, Todd, et al.
Created Date
2015

Through decades of clinical progress, cochlear implants have brought the world of speech and language to thousands of profoundly deaf patients. However, the technology has many possible areas for improvement, including providing information of non-linguistic cues, also called indexical properties of speech. The field of sensory substitution, providing information relating one sense to another, offers a potential avenue to further assist those with cochlear implants, in addition to the promise they hold for those without existing aids. A user study with a vibrotactile device is evaluated to exhibit the effectiveness of this approach in an auditory gender discrimination task. Additionally, …

Contributors
Butts, Austin McRae, Helms Tillery, Stephen, Berisha, Visar, et al.
Created Date
2015

Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) were first imagined as a technology that would allow subjects to have direct communication with prosthetics and external devices (e.g. control over a computer cursor or robotic arm movement). Operation of these devices was not automatic, and subjects needed calibration and training in order to master this control. In short, learning became a key component in controlling these systems. As a result, BMIs have become ideal tools to probe and explore brain activity, since they allow the isolation of neural inputs and systematic altering of the relationships between the neural signals and output. I have used BMIs …

Contributors
Armenta Salas, Michelle, Helms Tillery, Stephen I, Si, Jennie, et al.
Created Date
2015

Epilepsy is a group of disorders that cause seizures in approximately 2.2 million people in the United States. Over 30% of these patients have epilepsies that do not respond to treatment with anti-epileptic drugs. For this population, focal resection surgery could offer long-term seizure freedom. Surgery candidates undergo a myriad of tests and monitoring to determine where and when seizures occur. The “gold standard” method for focus identification involves the placement of electrocorticography (ECoG) grids in the sub-dural space, followed by continual monitoring and visual inspection of the patient’s cortical activity. This process, however, is highly subjective and uses dated …

Contributors
Ashmont, Kari Rich, Greger, Bradley, Helms Tillery, Stephen, et al.
Created Date
2015

Tracking microscale targets in soft tissue using implantable probes is important in clinical applications such as neurosurgery, chemotherapy and in neurophysiological application such as brain monitoring. In most of these applications, such tracking is done with visual feedback involving some imaging modality that helps localization of the targets through images that are co-registered with stereotaxic coordinates. However, there are applications in brain monitoring where precision targeting of microscale targets such as single neurons need to be done in the absence of such visual feedback. In all of the above mentioned applications, it is important to understand the dynamics of mechanical …

Contributors
Talebianmoghaddam, Shahrzad, Muthuswamy, Jitendran, Towe, Bruce, et al.
Created Date
2015

Humans constantly rely on a complex interaction of a variety of sensory modalities in order to complete even the simplest of daily tasks. For reaching and grasping to interact with objects, the visual, tactile, and proprioceptive senses provide the majority of the information used. While vision is often relied on for many tasks, most people are able to accomplish common daily rituals without constant visual attention, instead relying mainly on tactile and proprioceptive cues. However, amputees using prosthetic arms do not have access to these cues, making tasks impossible without vision. Even tasks with vision can be incredibly difficult as …

Contributors
Olson, Markey, Helms-Tillery, Stephen, Buneo, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2016

Understanding human-human interactions during the performance of joint motor tasks is critical for developing rehabilitation robots that could aid therapists in providing effective treatments for motor problems. However, there is a lack of understanding of strategies (cooperative or competitive) adopted by humans when interacting with other individuals. Previous studies have investigated the cues (auditory, visual and haptic) that support these interactions but understanding how these unconscious interactions happen even without those cues is yet to be explained. To address this issue, in this study, a paradigm that tests the parallel efforts of pairs of individuals (dyads) to complete a jointly …

Contributors
Agrawal, Ankit, Buneo, Christopher, Santello, Marco, et al.
Created Date
2016

Long-term monitoring of deep brain structures using microelectrode implants is critical for the success of emerging clinical applications including cortical neural prostheses, deep brain stimulation and other neurobiology studies such as progression of disease states, learning and memory, brain mapping etc. However, current microelectrode technologies are not capable enough of reaching those clinical milestones given their inconsistency in performance and reliability in long-term studies. In all the aforementioned applications, it is important to understand the limitations & demands posed by technology as well as biological processes. Recent advances in implantable Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology have tremendous potential and …

Contributors
Palaniswamy, Sivakumar, Muthuswamy, Jitendran, Buneo, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2016

The interaction between visual fixations during planning and performance in a dexterous task was analyzed. An eye-tracking device was affixed to subjects during sequences of null (salient center of mass) and weighted (non salient center of mass) trials with unconstrained precision grasp. Subjects experienced both expected and unexpected perturbations, with the task of minimizing object roll. Unexpected perturbations were controlled by switching weights between trials, expected perturbations were controlled by asking subjects to rotate the object themselves. In all cases subjects were able to minimize the roll of the object within three trials. Eye fixations were correlated with object weight …

Contributors
Smith, Michael David, Santello, Marco, Buneo, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2017