Skip to main content

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


Wearable assistive devices have been greatly improved thanks to advancements made in soft robotics, even creation soft extra arms for paralyzed patients. Grasping remains an active area of research of soft extra limbs. Soft robotics allow the creation of grippers that due to their inherit compliance making them lightweight, safer for human interactions, more robust in unknown environments and simpler to control than their rigid counterparts. A current problem in soft robotics is the lack of seamless integration of soft grippers into wearable devices, which is in part due to the use of elastomeric materials used for the creation of …

Contributors
Lopez Arellano, Francisco, Santello, Marco, Zhang, Wenlong, et al.
Created Date
2019

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has shown benefits beyond its original therapeutic application, though there is a lack of research into these benefits in healthy and athletic populations. To address this gap in the VNS literature, the present study addresses the feasibility and possible efficacy of transcutaneous VNS (tVNS) in improving performance and various biometrics during two athletic tasks: golf tee shots and baseball pitching. Performance, cortical dynamics, anxiety measures, muscle excitation, and heart rate characteristics were assessed before and after stimulation using electroencephalography (EEG), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and electrocardiography (ECG) during the baseball and golf tasks as well …

Contributors
Lindley, Kyle Evan, Tyler, William J, Wyckoff, Sarah, et al.
Created Date
2019

Existing theories suggest that evidence is accumulated before making a decision with competing goals. In motor tasks, reward and motor costs have been shown to influence the decision, but the interaction between these two variables has not been studied in depth. A novel reward-based sensorimotor decision-making task was developed to investigate how reward and motor costs interact to influence decisions. In human subjects, two targets of varying size and reward were presented. After a series of three tones, subjects initiated a movement as one of the targets disappeared. Reward was awarded when participants reached through the remaining target within a …

Contributors
Boege, Scott, Santello, Marco, Fine, Justin, et al.
Created Date
2019

Injuries and death associated with fall incidences pose a significant burden to society, both in terms of human suffering and economic losses. The main aim of this dissertation is to study approaches that can reduce the risk of falls. One major subset of falls is falls due to neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). Freezing of gait (FOG) is a major cause of falls in this population. Therefore, a new FOG detection method using wavelet transform technique employing optimal sampling window size, update time, and sensor placements for identification of FOG events is created and validated in this dissertation. …

Contributors
Rezvanian, Saba, Lockhart, Thurmon, Buneo, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2019

Intracellular voltage recordings from single neurons in vitro and in vivo have been fundamental to our understanding of neuronal function. Conventional electrodes and associated positioning systems for intracellular recording in vivo are large and bulky, which has largely restricted their use to single-channel recording from anesthetized animals. Further, intracellular recordings are very cumbersome, requiring a high degree of skill not readily achieved in a typical laboratory. This dissertation presents a robotic, head-mountable, MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) based intracellular recording system to overcome the above limitations associated with form-factor, scalability and highly skilled and tedious manual operations required for intracellular recordings. This …

Contributors
Sampath Kumar, Swathy, Muthuswamy, Jit, Abbas, James, et al.
Created Date
2018

Proprioception is the sense of body position, movement, force, and effort. Loss of proprioception can affect planning and control of limb and body movements, negatively impacting activities of daily living and quality of life. Assessments employing planar robots have shown that proprioceptive sensitivity is directionally dependent within the horizontal plane however, few studies have looked at proprioceptive sensitivity in 3d space. In addition, the extent to which proprioceptive sensitivity is modifiable by factors such as exogenous neuromodulation is unclear. To investigate proprioceptive sensitivity in 3d we developed a novel experimental paradigm employing a 7-DoF robot arm, which enables reliable testing …

Contributors
Klein, Joshua, Buneo, Christopher, Helms-Tillery, Stephen, et al.
Created Date
2018

Neural interfacing applications have advanced in complexity, with needs for increasingly high degrees of freedom in prosthetic device control, sharper discrimination in sensory percepts in bidirectional interfaces, and more precise localization of functional connectivity in the brain. As such, there is a growing need for reliable neurophysiological recordings at a fine spatial scale matching that of cortical columnar processing. Penetrating microelectrodes provide localization sufficient to isolate action potential (AP) waveforms, but often suffer from recorded signal deterioration linked to foreign body response. Micro-Electrocorticography (μECoG) surface electrodes elicit lower foreign body response and show greater chronic stability of recorded signals, though …

Contributors
Barton, Cody David, Greger, Bradley, Greger, Bradley, et al.
Created Date
2018

Sleep is an essential human function. Modern day society has made it so that sleep is prioritized less and less. Professionals in critical positions such as doctors, nurses, and emergency medical technicians can often have hectic schedules that are unforgiving toward sleep due to the increase in shift work that dominates these fields. Sleep deficits can have detrimental effects on one’s psyche and mood. Depression and anxiety both have high comorbidity rates with insomnia because of sleeping deficits. Transdermal Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) offers a potential solution to improving sleep quality and mood by modulating the ascending reticular activating system …

Contributors
Udave, Ceasar, Tyler, William J, Buneo, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2018

Growing understanding of the neural code and how to speak it has allowed for notable advancements in neural prosthetics. With commercially-available implantable systems with bi- directional neural communication on the horizon, there is an increasing imperative to develop high resolution interfaces that can survive the environment and be well tolerated by the nervous system under chronic use. The sensory encoding aspect optimally interfaces at a scale sufficient to evoke perception but focal in nature to maximize resolution and evoke more complex and nuanced sensations. Microelectrode arrays can maintain high spatial density, operating on the scale of cortical columns, and can …

Contributors
Oswalt, Denise, Greger, Bradley, Buneo, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2018

The ultimate goal of human movement control research is to understand how natural movements performed in daily reaching activities, are controlled. Natural movements require coordination of multiple degrees of freedom (DOF) of the arm. Patterns of arm joint control were studied during daily functional tasks, which were performed through the rotation of seven DOF in the arm. Analyzed movements which imitated the following 3 activities of daily living: moving an empty soda can from a table and placing it on a further position; placing the empty soda can from initial position at table to a position at shoulder level on …

Contributors
Sansgiri, Dattaraj, Dounskaia, Natalia, Schaefer, Sydney, et al.
Created Date
2018

The ultimate goal of human movement control research is to understand how natural movements performed in daily activities, are controlled. Natural movements require coordination of multiple degrees of freedom (DOF) of the arm. Here, patterns of arm joint control during daily functional tasks were examined, which are performed through rotation of the shoulder, elbow, and wrist with the use of seven DOF: shoulder flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, and internal/external rotation; elbow flexion/extension and pronation/supination; wrist flexion/extension and radial/ulnar deviation. Analyzed movements imitated two activities of daily living: combing the hair and turning the page in a book. Kinematic and kinetic analyses were …

Contributors
Marshall, Dirk, Dounskaia, Natalia, Schaefer, Sydney, et al.
Created Date
2018

Lower-limb prosthesis users have commonly-recognized deficits in gait and posture control. However, existing methods in balance and mobility analysis fail to provide sufficient sensitivity to detect changes in prosthesis users' postural control and mobility in response to clinical intervention or experimental manipulations and often fail to detect differences between prosthesis users and non-amputee control subjects. This lack of sensitivity limits the ability of clinicians to make informed clinical decisions and presents challenges with insurance reimbursement for comprehensive clinical care and advanced prosthetic devices. These issues have directly impacted clinical care by restricting device options, increasing financial burden on clinics, and …

Contributors
Howard, Charla Lindley, Abbas, James, Buneo, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2017

Object manipulation is a common sensorimotor task that humans perform to interact with the physical world. The first aim of this dissertation was to characterize and identify the role of feedback and feedforward mechanisms for force control in object manipulation by introducing a new feature based on force trajectories to quantify the interaction between feedback- and feedforward control. This feature was applied on two grasp contexts: grasping the object at either (1) predetermined or (2) self-selected grasp locations (“constrained” and “unconstrained”, respectively), where unconstrained grasping is thought to involve feedback-driven force corrections to a greater extent than constrained grasping. This …

Contributors
Mojtahedi, Keivan, Santello, Marco, Greger, Bradley, et al.
Created Date
2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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