Volume 47 Number 3, 2010
Pages 201 — 212
Abstract — The rate of upper-limb amputations is increasing, and the rejection rate of prosthetic devices remains high. People with upper-limb amputation do not fully incorporate prosthetic devices into their activities of daily living. By understanding the reaching behaviors of prosthesis users, researchers can alter prosthetic devices and develop training protocols to improve the acceptance of prosthetic limbs. By observing the reaching characteristics of the nondisabled arms of people with amputation, we can begin to understand how the brain alters its motor commands after amputation. We asked subjects to perform rapid reaching movements to two targets with and without visual feedback. Subjects performed the tasks with both their prosthetic and nondisabled arms. We calculated endpoint error, trajectory error, and variability and compared them with those of nondisabled control subjects. We found no significant abnormalities in the prosthetic limb. However, we found an abnormal leftward trajectory error (in right arms) in the nondisabled arm of prosthetic users in the vision condition. In the no-vision condition, the nondisabled arm displayed abnormal leftward endpoint errors and abnormally higher endpoint variability. In the vision condition, peak velocity was lower and movement duration was longer in both arms of subjects with amputation. These abnormalities may reflect the cortical reorganization associated with limb loss.
Last Reviewed or Updated Monday, May 3, 2010 12:37 PM