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S Schaffelhofer and H Scherberger (2012)

A new method of accurate hand- and arm-tracking for small primates

Journal of Neural Engineering 9(2):026025.  (export entry)

Bernstein Fellows
The investigation of grasping movements in cortical motor areas depends heavily on the measurement of hand kinematics. Currently used methods for small primates need either a large number of sensors or provide insufficient accuracy. Here, we present both a novel glove based on electromagnetic tracking sensors that can operate at a rate of 100 Hz and a new modeling method that allows to monitor 27 degrees of freedom (DOF) of the hand and arm using only seven sensors. A rhesus macaque was trained to wear the glove while performing precision and power grips during a delayed grasping task in the dark without noticeable hindrance. During five recording sessions all 27 joint angles and their positions could be tracked reliably. Furthermore, the field generator did not interfere with electrophysiological recordings below 1 kHz and did not affect single-cell separation. Measurements with the glove proved to be accurate during static and dynamic testing (mean absolute error below 2 degrees and 3 degrees, respectively). This makes the glove a suitable solution for characterizing electrophysiological signals with respect to hand grasping and in particular for brain-machine interface applications.
DOI: 10.1088/1741-2560/9/2/026025 ISSN: 1741-2560