Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 53 Number 4, 2016
   Pages 473 — 482

Abstract — Effects of cognitive load and prosthetic liner on volitional response times to vibrotactile feedback

Aman Sharma, MHSc;1 Matthew J. Leineweber, PhD;2 Jan Andrysek, PhD1–2*

1Institute for Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada; 2Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto, Canada

Abstract — Artificial tactile feedback systems can improve prosthetic function for people with amputation by substituting for lost proprioception in the missing limb. However, limited data exists to guide the design and application of these systems for mobility and balance scenarios. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of a noninvasive artificial sensory feedback (ASF) system on lower-limb function in the presence of a cognitive load and a liner interface. Reaction times (RTs) and accuracy of leg-movement responses to vibratory stimuli at the thigh were recorded for 12 nondisabled individuals and 3 participants with transfemoral amputation using a custom-built testing apparatus. The results indicate that the addition of a cognitive load increases response times relative to the baseline condition by 0.26 to 0.33 s. The prosthetic liner produced a less pronounced increase in RT of 0.06 to 0.11 s. Participants were able to correctly identify the stimulus location with nearly 100% accuracy. These increased RTs are nontrivial and must be considered in designing ASF systems.

Key words: amputation, biofeedback, cognitive load, lower-limb amputation, mobility, proprioception, sensorimotor responses, sensory feedback, transfemoral, vibration.

View HTML ?? View PDF ?? Contents Vol. 53, No.4

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Sharma A, Leineweber MJ, Andrysek J. Effects of cognitive load and prosthetic liner on volitional response times to vibrotactile feedback. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2016;53(4): 473–82.
ORCID: Matthew J. Leineweber, PhD: 0000-0003-3898-6832

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