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Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Vol. 40 No. 3, May/June 2003
Pages 199 — 212

Neck range of motion and use of computer head controls
Edmund F. LoPresti, PhD; David M. Brienza, PhD; Jennifer Angelo, PhD, OTR/L; Lars Gilbertson, PhD
Assistive Technology Sciences, Pittsburgh, PA; Koester Performance Research, Ann Arbor, MI; Department of Bioengineering and Rehabilitation Science and Technology Department, University of Pittsburgh, 5040 Forbes Tower, Pittsburgh, PA
Abstract — Head controls provide an alternative means of computer access. This study determined whether neck movement limitations are associated with reduced performance with such head controls. This study also identified features of the cursor movement path that could aid in assessing computer access limitations. Fifteen subjects without disabilities and ten subjects with disabilities received neck range of motion evaluations and performed computer exercises using head controls. Reduced neck range of motion was correlated with reduced accuracy (R2 = 93.5%) and speed (R2 = 79.5%) in icon selection. A model was developed with the use of cursor positioning time and number of velocity peaks to identify when a person was having difficulty with target acquisition (K = 0.81). Models such as this may allow head controls to adapt to a user's needs, accommodating difficulties resulting from neck range of motion limitations.
Key words: computer access, head controls, man-machine systems, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury.

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