Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Case study: Head orientation and neck electromyography for cursor control in persons with high cervical tetraplegia

Matthew R. Williams, PhD; Robert F. Kirsch, PhD

High cervical spinal cord injury (SCI), as can occur in combat situations, can result in the inability to operate a computer. To address this, we evaluated the ability of an individual with a high level SCI to control a computer cursor using two different user interfaces: head movements measured with a headworn orientation sensor and electrical signals from four head and neck muscles. Subject performance with each user interface was evaluated and compared with the performance of a group of nondisabled subjects. Head orientation was more accurate but less responsive than the electrical signals but the electrical signals were more responsive and faster. The impaired subject exhibited similar performance as nondisabled subjects. Although head orientation performed better in some performance measures, electrical signals can be recorded less obtrusively and more reliably and may be the more practical choice as a user interface. The methods developed in this work can be used to quantitatively evaluate the performance of assistive technology used by Veterans.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2014.10.0244

Volume 53 Number 4, 2016
   Pages 519 — 530


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This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Williams MR, Kirsch RF. Case study: Head orientation and neck electromyography for cursor control in persons with high cervical tetraplegia. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2016; 53(4):519–30.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2014.10.0244
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