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Improvement in Hand Trajectory of Reaching Movements by Error-Augmentation
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether adaptive responses to error-augmentation force fields, would decrease the trajectory errors in hand-reaching movements in multiple directions in healthy individuals. The study was conducted, as a randomized controlled trial, in 41 healthy subjects. The study group trained on a 3D robotic system, applying error-augmenting forces on the hand during the execution of tasks. The control group carried out the same protocol in null-field conditions. A mixed-model ANOVA was implemented to investigate the interaction between groups and time, and changes in outcome measures within groups. The findings were that there was a significant interaction effect for group × time in terms of the magnitude of movement errors across game-sets. The trajectory error of the study group significantly decreased from 0.035 ± 0.013 m at baseline to 0.029 ± 0.011 m at a follow-up, which amounted to a 14.8% improvement. The degree of movement errors were not significantly changed within a game-set. We conclude that practicing hand-reaching movement in multiple random directions, using the error-augmentation technique, decreases the deviation of the hand trajectory from a straight line. However, this type of training prevents the generalizability of adaptation between consecutive reaching movements. Further studies should investigate the feasibility of this training method for rehabilitation of post-stroke individuals.
KeywordsAdaptation Brain model Error-augmentation Force-field Hand reaching Hand trajectory
We would like to thank Dr. Mario Estevez of the Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Havana, Cuba, for his contributions to statistical and research methodology.
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