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Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 4, No.

4, 2000

A Dynamic Systems Approach to Understanding
Reaching Movements with a Prosthetic Arm
Stephen A. Wallace,1,3 D. L. Weeks,1 and P. Foo2

A case study was conducted on an experienced upper extremity prosthetic
user that required him to perform a reaching and grasping task with both his
prosthetic and normal anatomical hand. We used a scanning task (Wallace,
Stevenson, Spear, & Weeks, 1994; Button, Bennett, & Davids, 1998) that
required the participant to perform a wide range of coordination patterns
defined by the relative phasing between the aperture of the fingers (or artificial
prehensor) and the arm. Visual templates of the required finger trajectories
in the various required phase conditions served as environmental information
for the subject to follow. Based on previous work, we hypothesized that the
participant would exhibit at least one stable reaching and grasping pattern
in both his anatomical and prosthetic arm. In support of this hypothesis, the
results showed a negative sloping relationship between the required relative
phase and the mean delta relative phase (required relative phase minus the
actual relative phase). The smallest delta relative phase occurred at approximately 80⬚ and 115⬚ relative phase for the anatomical and prosthetic arm,
respectively during the scanning task. These results confirm our previous
work of the presence of only one attractor in reaching and grasping movements using either the anatomical or prosthetic arm.
KEY WORDS: dynamical systems; artificial limbs; motor coordination.

There are nearly 100,000 people with upper extremity amputations in
the United States alone (Frey, Carlson, & Ramaswamy, 1995) and many
of these individuals choose to wear an artificial limb that allows for the
1

Department of Kinesiology, San Francisco State University, Department of Physical Therapy,
Regis University.
2
Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences, Florida Atlantic University.
3
Address for correspondence: Stephen A. Wallace, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Kinesiology, 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California 94132.
e-mail: saw@sfsu.edu.
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1090-0578/00/1000-0311$18.00/0  2000 Human Sciences Press, Inc.

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Wallace, Weeks, and Foo

reaching, grasping and manipulation of objects. While much is known about
how reaching and grasping behavior is accomplished using the normal,
anatomical limb, there is much less research on the control of upper extremity artificial limbs. Reacting to this paucity of research, several leaders in
the prothetic field attending the Research Planning Conference on Prosthetic and Orthotic Research for the Twenty First Century in 1992, recommended that more emphasis be placed on fundamental studies that provide
a better understanding of biological controls of different types of upper
extremity prostheses. Childress (1992) stated, ‘‘The fields of orthotics and
prosthetics today are similar to many other areas of rehabilitation. They lack
a scientific basis for much of what is practiced’’(p. 10). Unlike established
disciplines such as geology and astronomy, Childress argued that prosthetics, while strongly influenced by advances in technical developments, lacked
theoretical structure. Similarly, LeBlanc (1992) stated that aside from some
early scientific work on prosthetics, ‘‘. . .for the most part the field has
relied heavily on the older studies, and has been coasting in the sense of
not building on those original blocks to help put prosthetics and orthotics
on as much of a scientific basis as possible.’’ (p. 50). It is our view that a
better understanding of the control of upper extremity prostheses can be
achieved by becoming more acquainted with a field of human motor control
that deals with prehension movements, an area that has garnered considerable research in the last decade or so.
Prehension movements involve the use of the upper extremities in
reaching, grasping and manipulating objects in our environment. Along
with speech, prehension is a highly specialized motor skill in humans and
has been the subject of considerable investigation by motor control scientists
in psychology, kinesiology, neuroscience, and engineering (particularly in
the robotics area). Since the seminal work of Jeannerod (1981), there has
been much interest in how reaching and grasping movements are controlled
(Fraser & Wing, 1981; Haggard, 1991; Marteniuk, MacKenzie, Jeannerod,
Athenes, & Dugas, 1987; Marteniuk, Leavitt, MacKenzie & Athenes, 1990;
Weir, MacKenzie, Marteniuk & Cargoe, 1991; Wing & Fraser, 1983; Wing,
Turton & Fraser, 1986) and developed (Corbetta & Thelen, 1994; Thelen,
et al., 1993; Von Hofsten & Ronnqvist, 1988). Jeannerod characterized the
anticipatory aspects of grasping (i.e., the movement control required to
position the hand in the correct orientation prior to the grasp) as the control
of two separate components, termed transport and manipulation. The transport component, composed primarily of proximal joint and muscle groups
relative to the hand, is responsible for correctly positioning the hand near
the object to be grasped. Measurement of the transport component typically
involves the changes in kinematics of the arm (e.g., displacement and velocity) from the start of the movement to the grasp. The manipulation compo-

. 1989). However. using similar kinematic measures. For example. how this device is actually controlled by people with amputations is still an open question. How might these patterns of coordination . Unlike the normal anatomical hand. The difficulty in controlling an upper extremity prosthesis by inexperienced users was recently documented by Wallace et al. In the present study. joint movement much more proximal to the hand executes the control of the ‘fingers’ of the prosthesis. researchers often analyze only the participant’s index finger and thumb and measure the resultant distant between them (i. (1999). 1996). Thus. patterns of coordination among these joints are likely to emerge as the user attempts to reach and grasp an object (Wallace. Wing and Fraser (1983) presented a case study detailing the control of a reaching and grasping movement in a 13-year-old girl with congenital absence of her left arm below the elbow. However. Relative body motions of the torso. opening and closing of the artificial hand (prehensor) is accomplished by changes in the tension of a cable that connects the prehensor to a harness around the contralateral shoulder. While the body-powered prosthesis is an interesting model to study movement coordination because of its mechanical configuration. anatomical limb. there is little published work on the coordination strategies used by experienced users of upper extremity body powered prostheses. aperture) as a representative measure of the manipulation component. no measures of coordination among relative body motions used to control the prehensor were taken. it is possible to investigate the control of an artificial limb by paying special attention to the movements produced by the prosthetic user while engaged in the reaching and grasping of an object. 1989). Specifically. Their research focused on describing the changes of the transport transport and grasp components in reaching movements with both the anatomical hand and the artificial hand. It is the nature of these relative body motions that is the focus of the current study. there is a need to examine the coordination among the important joint movements in prosthetic reaching and grasping.e. Thus. They showed that inexperienced users were nearly three times slower and more variable in performing a simple reaching and grasping task with a prosthetic limb compared to the normal. we investigated the prehension movements performed by a person with a below elbow amputation who wore an upper extremity prosthetic (artificial) limb.Prosthetic Reaching 313 nent involves the distal joints and muscles of the hand and is responsible for grasping the object. It is likely that because there are a number of proximal joint motions used to control the prehensor (Atkins. shoulders and the arm are used to change cable tension to achieve opening and closing of the artificial hand during prehension (Atkins. To simplify the task. the relative body motions used in controlling the prosthesis were not investigated. While the basic mechanics of the upper extremity prosthesis are known.

In the scanning procedure. 1984.314 Wallace. Weeks. 1988. 1996). participants produced rhythmical reaching movements by following an auditory metronome at a comfortable pace such that the grasp of an object was synchronized with each beat of the metronome. Spear and Weeks (1994). In this experiment. Zanone & Kelso. modeled after synergetic theory (Haken.. the relative phasing between the articulators has been shown to be a excellent order parameter because it best captures the temporal coordination involved in the movements and behaves in accordance with the theoretical modeling (Haken.g. considered to be the order parameter in this task. Participants attempted to produce different finger and thumb trajectories by following visual templates placed beneath the arm on a table surface that effectively altered the relative phase of maximum aperture (or final hand closing). In contrast to the bimanual coor- . 1981. In bimanual experiments. Kelso. 1992). 1988. 1996. 1985). Scho¨ner & Kelso. Kelso. Arbib. each requiring a different required relative phase. Wallace. 1983). but see Bootsma & Van Wieringen. 1980. Wallace. In movements requiring the use of at least two articulators (joints). 1992). exhibiting the most accurate and consistent performance (Tuller & Kelso. But are there attractors in the case of reaching and grasping movements? One extension of dynamic pattern theory to reaching movements involving coordination of the hand and arm was done by Wallace. for an exception). 1985. the human participant attempts to perform a variety of patterns of coordination. Jeannerod. it has been shown that the 0 and 180 deg relative phase patterns are attractors. 1993. and Foo be discovered? What theoretical framework is best suited to understand the nature of this coordination? Most theoretical models of reaching and grasping assume that each component has a controller that prescribes behavior and that the coordination between the components necessitates a further mechanism (e. Hoff & Arbib. Many of these patterns represent stable collective states. 1995. 1981. Stevenson. called attractors. Participants were capable of accurately and consistently producing only one temporal pattern of coordination. dynamical pattern theory (e. 1992. 1989. Yaminishi.g. Kelso & Scho¨ner. The mean and standard deviations of the various relative phase patterns describe the entire attractor layout for each participant. 1995. modeled as coupled oscillators. unique for each participant. that may be described by a system variable termed an order parameter. One way to observe these attractors. Kawato & Suzuki. is through the use of what has been termed a ‘‘scanning procedure’’ (Kelso.. describes the coordination among the various joints used in movement as a self-organizing process that results in explicit patterns of behavior. In this experiment. at least with humans performing a motor task. the scanning procedure was used to help identify stable reaching coordination patterns. Zanone & Kelso. & Bunz. In contrast to these prescription models.

In bimanual movements. which we will address in the discussion.. the general trends of their data supported a uni-stable attractor landscape that may change depending on task conditions. 1996). and stable performance results. occurrence of final closing of the hand or prehensor). evidence was provided for a uni-stable attractor landscape. Our participant. Wallace. Button et al. cooperation between these forces occurs. According to dynamic pattern theory. we asked the participant to perform the reaching and grasping task both before and after the scanning . 1992). a below-elbow amputee and experienced prosthesis user. Both discrete and rhythmical movements: were studied. the intrinsic dynamics reflect the participant’s ability to perform coordination patterns in the absence of the second important factor. performed the scanning procedure with his unaffected. is smallest for the most stable coordination patterns. scrutinized the use of the scanning procedure. & Davids (1998). called environmental information. et al. In the present experiment.. In addition. anatomical hand and with his artificial hand. Yaminishi et al. Environmental information is expressed in the same terms as the intrinsic dynamics. called the delta relative phase. the participant’s intrinsic dynamics are strong for the 0 and 180⬚ patterns and weaker for the other patterns. 1994. will result in less stable performance. That is. Based on the earlier Wallace et al.. Environmental information provides the participant or learner with details about how the coordination task should be performed. the discrepancy between the required relative phase (environmental information) and the actual relative phase produced. the participant’s intrinsic dynamics or coordination tendencies are the capacities that exist at the time a new task is to be learned or performed. Wallace.Prosthetic Reaching 315 dination literature. It can be said that in these cases.. with only one stable pattern. the environmental information was provided by visual templates that expressed the required relative phasing for the participants to attempt (i. This theoretical account nicely explains the performance on previous experiments using the scanning procedure (Tuller & Kelso. in terms of the order parameter. In the scanning procedure two important factors or forces are thought to affect performance in the task (Kelso. According to dynamic pattern theory. it is common for participants to be able to perform only the 0 and 180⬚ coordination patterns accurately and consistently. 1989. Theoretically. While the results for discrete movement were more variable. study. Further evidence for only one attractor in reaching movements involving the coordination of the hand and arm has been recently provided by Button. Bennet. we hypothesized that only one attractor would be identified for both anatomical and prosthetic reaching. namely. if the participant’s intrinsic dynamics match the environmental information. 1995. 1980. A contrast between the two.e. Zanone & Kelso. Stevenson.

He wore a voluntary closing body-powered prosthesis with a TRS Grip terminal device (see Fig. and Foo procedure in the absence of environmental information. At the time of the testing. IRED data collected on-line as the participant performed the scanning task. and elbow on the table. (c) dorsal radial wrist (approximate location on the prosthetic prehensor of where the scaphoid-radial joint would lie). (b) distal index finger (or ulnar-most portion of the prosthetic prehensor).and post-preferred trials. To help stabilize and standardize the participant’s body position during testing. The participant was comfortably seated at the table facing the two calibrated WATSMART cameras. To record joint motions of the participant. Weeks. The participant used his right (anatomical) hand for control trials. (f) contralateral (non-tested upper extremity) anterior glenohumeral joint (just caudal to acromio-clavicular joint). Apparatus and Task A WATSMART 3-D motion analysis system was used for data collection and analysis.316 Wallace. We wished to see whether the coordination pattern performed during these preferred trials would be similar to the patterned identified as the attractor in the scanning procedure. 1A and 1B). he grasped a handle mounted on the table with his non-tested arm. We called these trials the participant’s pre. (d) ipsilateral (tested upper extremity) anterior glenohumeral joint (just caudal to acromio-clavicular joint). METHOD Participant The participant was a 48 year old male with a short below elbow amputation of his left arm with 25 years of experience using a body powered prosthesis. were subsequently digitized and smoothed with a second order Butterworth filter (10 Hz cutoff) and were converted to three dimensions using . Calibration error was less than 2 mm and the sampling rate was set at 200 Hz. The participant gripped the handle with the shoulder flexed slightly forward. (e) sternum (two IRED’s positioned on either side). infrared light emitting diodes (IREDs) were placed on the following locations: (a) distal thumb (or radial-most portion of the prosthetic prehensor). the participant had been using a voluntary closing body powered prosthesis for nine years.

of the participant wearing a voluntary closing prosthesis on his left arm. a front and back view. the participant achieves minimum aperture by an outward lateral movement of elbow that increases cable tension causing the prehensor to close. respectively. notice that at the start of movement.A B Fig. Notice how the cable from the prehensor is anchored by a harness on the contralateral shoulder. In A and B. 1. . Also.

Ten required relative phase conditions were examined by fixing the trammel arm at the following distances from the start peg: 3. .2. the trammel arm was moved to a given position along the movement path and fixed with an adjustable screw. the resultant distance between the finger and thumb of both anatomical and prosthetic hands was calculated as a measure of the fingerthumb aperture. and 31 cm yielding the following required relative phases. 12. and the base of the target dowel. The participant began each trial by resting the tested hand on a small foam pad near the table edge with his finger and thumb pinched together (minimum aperture) directly over the start position. was flush with the surface of the table and in full view throughout a trial (during the scanning trials).6. 6. 18. The required trajectories of the index finger and thumb (in the anatomical hand.5. A schematic picture of the apparatus (top view). the template. Weeks. A thick rubber band was wrapped around the start position peg. The start position. for example) were produced by wrapping a large red rubber band around the start peg.8. the target dowel and the template representing the required trajectories of the finger and thumb were defined by a metal trammel that could be adjusted for each required relative phase condition.7. 15. Thus.9. 9. and Foo WATSMART software to yield displacement records of the joint motions. In addition. 21. the target dowel and each end of the metal trammel arm to define template for the required finger and thumb trajectories. respectively: Fig. 24. The target object was a vertical wooden dowel 18 mm in diameter and 100 mm in height.4. 2. which was positioned 41 cm from the table edge. To define each relative phase of final closing.3. Figure 2 illustrates a schematic representation of an exemplary template.318 Wallace. the two ends of the adjustable trammel.1. 27. The participant rested his hand on a foam pad at the beginning of the trial with the fingers in a pinched position (minimal aperture) directly over the start position (0 deg).5 deg required relative phase condition. The trammel could be moved forward and back to create the various required relative phase conditions and the maximum aperture could be adjusted to fit the participant’s hand (or prehensor). The template shown is for the 147.

Thus.5.5. 3. and the participant was encouraged to concentrate on reaching maximal finger-thumb aperture and beginning the final closing at the position indicated by the marker. the experimenter again observed the participant perform the task. followed by a return to the start position. emphasizing that the requirements of the task were to follow the beat set by the metronome and to begin final closing after attaining maximal finger-thumb aperture at the position indicated by the . 98. 131. synchronizing the grasp of the object with the beat of the metronome. creating the 16. The object was grasped between the tips of the thumb and index finger.5. 33. 65. a comfortable pace for the participant. 115. The required grasping movement was demonstrated in slow motion by the experimenter: the thumb and index finger opened from the initial pinched position and the maximal finger-thumb aperture prior to final closing was attained at position 1. The required relative phase for each position was calculated by measuring the distance of the trammel arm from the start position relative to the total distance (approximately 67. The metronome was set such that an auditory beep signaled at .63 cm) during one complete arm transport cycle (from the start to the grasp and back to start) and multiplying this ratio by 360 deg. so that the thumb and index finger were in the original. Final closing began as the fingerthumb aperture decreased monotonically while the hand approached the object. No specific instructions were given concerning the finger-thumb aperture on the return trip. With the metronome operating.1 cm from the start position. 49. one cycle of the continuous motion consisted of a reach forward to momentarily grasp the target object.67 Hz cycling frequency (determined through pilot testing to be a comfortable pace for both the anatomical and prosthetic limb). Verbal feedback was given. After two to three slow motion demonstrations of this movement by the experimenter. 147. Procedure and Design The participant was told that the purpose of the experiment was to study various grasping patterns using both his anatomical and prosthetic limb. The trammel was initially moved to the first position. The movement continued smoothly as the thumb and index finger released the object and returned to the initial marked location. the participant was asked to practice. An auditory metronome was used to establish the cycling frequency of the grasping motion.25. pinched position.67 Hz.5 deg required relative phase trajectory template.5 deg.Prosthetic Reaching 319 16. The participant was asked to attempt to perform the task at this frequency. the metronome was turned on and set to the .5 and 164. When the participant appeared to be capable of performing the task in slow motion. 82.

(1994) and Zanone and Kelso (1992). After approximately 1 minute of practice at the same cycle time. t0 denotes the starting time of the cycle and tcycle denotes the elapsed time during the cycle (Fig. The participant was instructed to perform the cyclical grasping task using their preferred pattern of coordination following the auditory metronome. and Foo marker. et al. From Wallace. Recording at a given required relative phase condition did not begin until the participant indicated readiness to perform the task. the relative phase of final closing (Trfc) for each cycle was computed according to the following formula: Trfc ⫽ ((tclose ⫺ t0)/tcycle)) X 360 deg (1) where tclose denotes the time of final closing prior to the grasp. The intertrial time between consecutive required relative phase conditions was approximately 2 minutes. the time of final closing prior to the grasp occurred at maximum aperture. Weeks. This procedure of practice followed by data recording was repeated as the trammel arm was moved systematically to each of the remaining positions. In most cases. he was told that the movements would be recorded after 3 additional practice cycles. The grasping movements of the participant were recorded by the WATSMART system continuously for 16 seconds. This procedure is similar to the one used by Wallace. Relative Phase Calculation Figure 3 illustrates how the point estimate of relative phase of final closing was calculated. 10 cycles were recorded. Stevenson. The IREDs were then removed and the session was concluded. The experimenter made certain that the participant kept up with the beat of the metronome. but did not attempt to judge or provide feedback on the accuracy of the position of the final closing prior to the grasp.320 Wallace. When the participant appeared to be comfortable with the task. which included between 11-12 cycles. This initial training segment with the marker at position 1 lasted approximately 5 minutes. Previous pilot work using a random presentation of required relative phases showed no differences compared to this more systematic procedure. (1994). In cases of long aperture ‘plateaus’ or . Prior to and after the anatomical and prosthetic required phase trials the trammel apparatus was removed and the participant was asked to practice grasping the object naturally. 3). with no regard to the position of final closure prior to the grasp. et al. The middle 9 or 10 of these cycles was used as experimental data.

Calculation of the point estimate of the relative phase of final aperture closing. tcycle is the time between peak wrist cycle. 3. required . to is the start of the wrist cycle and tclose is the time of maximum aperture prior to closing down on the target object (see formula 1 in text).Prosthetic Reaching 321 Fig. the point of final closing immediately prior to the grasp was selected as tclose. RESULTS Analyses of cycle time and relative phase were conducted with 2 ⫻ 12 ⫻ 10 limb (anatomical or prosthetic) by required phase (pretest. where the peaks represent the start of the movement (closest to the participant). double peaks in the aperture separated by 50 ms or more.

Weeks. There was. 6. While the aperture displacements are not quite as smooth. and Foo phases 1 to 10. 5. and 6.05.18). thus the consequence of the trial main effect was judged as statistically significant. while trial 8 was significantly slower than trial 4. The ANOVA on relative phase . Notice that in both cases the wrist displacements are rhythmical and there is a slight delay of wrist movement as the participant grasps the target dowel. respectively. F(9. and 10. The largest mean difference in any of these significant contrasts was found to be 47 milliseconds.68). the pre and post-preferred conditions are similar. Tukey analyses indicated that trial 7 was significantly slower than trials 1. 9. Cycle Time Analyses The mean cycle times for the prosthetic and anatomical hands across required phase conditions are shown in Table 1. For both hands.322 Wallace. 2. p ⬍ . the preferred patterns are approximately 80 and 95 deg. Relative Phase Figure 5 illustrates mean relative phases produced by the anatomical and prosthetic hands across the required relative phase conditions. suggesting some stability of the preferred pattern across the experimental session.05. participants were judged to generally be able to adhere to the protocol by successfully pacing their motion with the metronome regardless of limb or required phase. a trial main effect. Any significant main effects were further analyzed with Tukey post hoc tests. For the anatomical hand and prosthetic hands. none of the interactions approached significance (all ps ⬎ . The ANOVA on cycle times revealed no main effect for limb or required phase (both ps ⬎ . In addition. however. Instead. A similar ANOVA was conducted on the delta relative phase data. 5. the opening and closing of the hand or prehensor for the outward and return trips of the wrist are clearly identifiable. but not practically significant. Example Wrist and Aperture Displacements Figures 4A and 4B illustrate example tracings of the wrist and aperture displacements in the pre-preferred anatomical and prosthetic trials.207) ⫽ 2.48. or posttest) by trial (1–10) repeated measures analyses of variance (ANOVAs). All analyses used a Type I error rate of p ⱕ .

In A and B. respectively.Fig. forward-toward the target. and backward-toward the start position. two aperture openings are produced during one arm complete wrist cycle. Notice that in both anatomical and prosthetic conditions. The peak wrist position is nearest the participant at the start of the movement and minimum wrist position is farthest from the participant at the grasping point of the arm motion. 4. Prosthetic Reaching 323 . wrist and aperture displacements for the anatomical and prosthetic pre-preferred conditions.

4. 324 . Continued. and Foo Fig. Weeks.Wallace.

05) 1.57(0.04) 1.05) 1.04) 1. .60(0.5 98.60(0.56(0.07) 1.62(0.Prosthetic Reaching 325 Table 1.04) 1.06) 1.61(0.59(0.61(0.60(0.06) 1. The means and standard deviations of the actual relative phases produced as a function of the required relative phase condition in both anatomical and prosthetic reaching.06) 1.60(0.07) 1.05) 1.5 33 49 65 82.12) 1.5 Post Preferred Anatomical Prosthetic 1.60(0.05) 1.61(0. Means and Standard Deviations (in parentheses) of Cycle Times (sec) for Anatomical and Prosthetic Hands Across Required Relative Phase Conditions Hand Required Phase Pre-Preferred 16.05) Fig.04) 1.61(0.62(0.25 147.60(0.61(0.58(0.07) 1.04) 1.61(0.60(0.05) 1.63(0.06) 1.06) 1.03) 1.5 164.07) 1.5 115 131.62(0.59(0.05) 1.03) 1. 5.61(0.61(0.

and post-preferred patterns.76. The required phase main effect was also significant. F(11. and Foo values revealed a main effect for limb.001. while the mean relative phase for the prosthetic limb was 113.5⬚) and 7 (115⬚). Results of the Tukey analysis indicated that the initial required phase differed significantly from all other required phases including the pretest and the posttest. the points of crossing the 0 deg delta relative phase line were different for the two hands. p ⬍ .5 deg required relative phase condition.25⬚). (anatomical limb mean ⫽ 3. prosthetic limb . For the anatomical hand. respectively. error ⫽ 3.39⬚ (std. However. 9 (147.26) indicating that these differences between required phases were similar across limbs. respectively. p ⬍ .326 Wallace.98 for the anatomical and prosthetic hands. beginning with required phases 6 (98. the mean delta relative phases were a negative function of the required relative phase condition with slopes of ⫺.73 (delta relative phase deg/required relative phase deg) for the anatomical and prosthetic hands. Required phases 2 (33⬚) through 5 (82. The limb by required phase interaction was not significant (p ⫽ .5⬚) tended not to differ from one another.60⬚). The mean relative phase for the anatomical limb was 85.64 and ⫺. p ⬍ . This trend was exaggerated in the upper required phases 8 (131. The correlations between the mean delta relative phase and the required relative phase were ⫺. 0 deg delta relative phase occurred approximately at the 82.8) ⫽ 45. There was no significant difference between these two slopes.99) ⫽ 18. differences began to occur with the lower required phases. including the posttest and pretest relative phases. In addition.99. However. error ⫽ 1.9) ⫽ 72. Delta Relative Phase If the participant perfectly produced each required relative phase pattern. t(16) ⬍ 1.97 and ⫺.5⬚) and 7 (115⬚).0001. representing no difference between actual and required relative phase.001. and 10 (164. For the prosthetic hand. F(1.5⬚) which differed significantly from required phases lower than 6 (98.64 [std.21).31⬚ (std. Weeks. 0 deg delta relative phase occurred near the 115 deg required relative phase condition.51]. These two points were similar to the participant’s preferred patterns produced in the pre and post test conditions. error ⫽ 2. the mean delta relative phases would fall on to the gray horizontal line in Fig. these results suggest that higher relative phases were produced by the prosthetic hand. F(1. This main effect was due to the significantly higher relative phase values for the prosthetic limb than the anatomical limb. 6. including the pre.37. In general. The ANOVA on delta relative phase resulted in a main effect for limb. The trial main effect and associated interactions also were not significant (all p ⬎ .40⬚).5⬚).

and 10 (164.5 deg).5 deg) and 6 (98.5 deg) resulted in positive delta relative phases that differed significantly from the middle required phases 5 (82.Prosthetic Reaching 327 Fig. error ⫽ 1. p ⬍ .96. Proximal Joint Contributions In an attempt to further understand the patterns of coordination used in this rhythmic reaching and grasping task. and 3 (49 deg). 9 (147.84]). The means and standard deviations of delta relative phase as a function of required relative phase in both anatomical and prosthetic reaching.25 deg).80) indicating that these differences between required phases were similar across limbs.72) ⫽ 62.5 deg) also differed significantly from the early required phases 1 (16. The middle required phases 5 (82. The limb by required phases interaction was not significant (p ⫽ .52 [ std. 8 (131.5 deg) and the early required phases 1 (16. mean ⫽ ⫺26. The required phase main effect was also significant. Tukey post hoc analysis indicated that the later required phases 7 (115 deg).5 deg) and 6 (98. particularly in the prosthetic .19). F(9. The trial main effect and associated interactions also were not significant (all ps ⬎ .001.5 deg) 2 (33 deg). 6. and 3 (49 deg).5 deg). 2 (33 deg).

The motion during anatomical reaching of the contralateral shoulder appeared to be synchronized with motion of the ipsilateral. after the experiment. we asked the participant what strategy he used in approaching and grasping the object. it was clear that a movement of the ipsilateral arm (of the grasping prehensor) toward the target dowel. motion of the contralateral shoulder during prosthetic reaching was delayed . in the plane of motion parallel to ipsilateral arm’s reach forward and back (in the Y-direction). Weeks. Contralateral Shoulder Motion Contribution We first determined the extent of contralateral shoulder movement during both anatomical and prosthetic reaching. Peak contralateral shoulder movement appeared sometime before the grasp. We were particularly interested in timing of onset of contralateral shoulder adduction in relation to aperture changes. reaching arm. However. Therefore. He said that in addition to extending his ipsilateral arm toward the target dowel. During prosthetic reaching this motion was cyclical. or systematic movement occurred that could be related to the coordination of the hand and ipsilateral prosthetic arm. increases and decreases in cable tension cause the prehensor to close and open. Thus. we chose movement of the IRED placed on the participant’s contralateral shoulder (see Methods section for details). with minimal contralateral shoulder movement occurring at start of forward movement of the ipsilateral reaching arm on each cycle.328 Wallace. In principle. Our strategy was to examine each marker and determine whether any significant. and Foo limb condition. would help to close the prehensor. ‘shrugging’ the contralateral shoulder is another body motion that can increase cable tension in a voluntary closing prostheses. This was confirmed by inspecting the Y-direction motion of the sternum that was also synchronized with both shoulders. The amplitudes of contralateral shoulder motion during prosthetic reaching was roughly twice that during anatomical reaching. It should be recalled that with the voluntary closing prosthesis. respectively. we examined this motion in relation to changes in aperture. suggesting that the participant was moving his torso forward and backward as a unit. even though this torso movement during anatomical reaching was rather small. Whereas. To represent this motion. We measured the amplitude of contralateral shoulder motion from minimum to maximal excursion during each cycle across all required phasing conditions. Figure 7 illustrates the mean amplitudes of contralateral shoulder motion during anatomical and prosthetic reaching. we examined the movements of the IREDs placed on the more proximal joints in relation to the prehensor. he also used contralateral shoulder movement near the end of arm transport.

8. The contralateral shoulder relative phase was greater than the aperture relative phase between the 16. the required relative phase main effect was significant. The cycle main effect and associated interactions also were not significant (all p ⬎ .725). To examine the coordination of the contralateral shoulder during prosthetic reaching. Figure 8 shows that the relative phases of peak contralateral shoulder motion and of final aperture closing were very similar in the pre and post preferred conditions.5 and 164. we calculated the relative phase of peak contralateral motion with respect to the ipsilateral arm cycle and compared this phasing with the relative phase of final closing of the aperture.Prosthetic Reaching 329 Fig. p ⬍ .99) ⫽ 30. with respect to the ipsilateral arm and torso in the Y-direction and it changed depending on the required relative phase condition.03.5 relative phase conditions. However. However.5 deg relative phase conditions.754. As seen in Fig. F(11. Contralateral shoulder amplitudes in the Y-direction for both anatomical and prosthetic arms.48. 7. . A 2 ⫻ 12 ⫻ 10 (Type of Phasing ⫻ Required Relative Phasing ⫻ Cycle) ANOVA revealed no main effect for type of phasing.001.5 and 82. and less than the aperture relative phase between the 98.001. F(11.and post-preferred relative phase trials. p ⫽ .99) ⫽ 10. the nature of this interaction was such that shoulder initiation was not significantly different than aperture final closing in the pre. This main effect was superseded by a significant required relative phasing by type of phasing interaction. p ⬍ .

and Foo Fig. He did so by moving the ipsilateral elbow laterally outward at the beginning of transport. Mean and standard deviations of the aperture and contralateral shoulder relative phase as a function of the required relative phase in prosthetic reaching. It should be recalled that we required the participant to start the arm cycle with the prosthetic ‘‘fingers’’ in a pinched position (as was the case with the anatomical hand). Ipsilateral Arm Coordination Another type of coordination was prevalent within the prosthetic arm itself. namely the coordination between forward and lateral transport as the participant reached for the target and returned to the start position across the several cycles within a given trial. 8. Weeks. By contrast. the participant had to compensate in some way to effectively close the prehensor at the beginning of the movement. From this position.330 Wallace. he moved his elbow laterally inward as he . Because the prehensor of the voluntary closing prosthesis is normally open at rest (with no cable tension). in the early required relative phases (cycles 1 to 5). in the later required relative phases (required relative phases 115 to 164 deg). shoulder adduction significantly preceded final aperture closing. onset of adduction in the shoulder was significantly delayed with respect to onset of aperture final closing.

the phasing relationship changed again in the 147... and backward elbow movement was synchronized with elbow abduction. DISCUSSION The purpose of the present case study was to identify stable patterns of coordination in reaching and grasping movements performed a person with a below-elbow amputation using his anatomical and prosthetic arms. pre-preferred.e. In the 33 deg condition.e.. These results provide evidence that the participant’s preferred pattern in each arm can be considered an attractor. Stevenson. in the language of dynamic pattern theory (e. Finally. the standard devia- . In the pre. Wallace. forward elbow movement was synchronized with elbow adduction. 1996). that is. the forward and lateral elbow movement was less synchronized particularly during forward transport. 1994). While the mean delta relative phase results confirmed that the participant’s preferred pattern was performed most accurately. We tested the hypothesis that only one stable pattern would be performed by the participant during the scanning procedure (Wallace. 115 deg. representative of an elliptical shaped Lissajou portrait). In addition. 33 deg.e. Interestingly. Displacement from right to left in the Y-direction represents forward arm transport and displacement up to down in the X-direction represents lateral elbow movement from abduction to adduction (i. Mean delta relative phase and mean relative phase results supported the hypothesis and suggested that the most stable pattern of coordination between final aperture closing and arm transport occurred much earlier during arm transport in the anatomical arm than in the prosthetic arm. et al. Kelso. the fact that there was a negative sloping relationship between mean delta relative phase and required relative phase suggested that performance of nearby phases was attracted toward the participant’s preferred pattern in both arms.5 deg condition to approximately a 45 deg relative phase (i. These results can be interpreted as demonstrating that the required relative phase condition affected prosthetic elbow coordination.Prosthetic Reaching 331 reached forward.and postpreferred conditions. The coordination between lateral and forward prosthetic elbow movement is illustrated in Figures 9A-E (i.g. toward the body midline). 147. there was a near in-phase relationship between the X and Y directions. which exhibited the smallest delta relative phase values during the scanning procedure. 1995...5 deg and post-preferred conditions) as Lissajou portraits between the displacement of the prosthetic reaching arm in the Y-direction (in the direction of the target dowel) and in the X-direction (perpendicular to forward and backward arm transport). a similar pattern was shown in the 115 deg relative phase condition.

1994). Wallace. Stevenson et al. 33 deg (B). and post-preferred conditions (E)..332 Wallace. 147. This explanation .5 deg (D). 1998. Weeks. Lissajou portraits of ipsilateral elbow displacement in the X and Y-directions in prosthetic reaching during the pre-preferred (A). 9.. tion of the mean delta relative phase showed no difference in performance variability across the various required relative phase conditions. One possible explanation is that the participant may have had difficulty performing any pattern except his preferred pattern. non-amputee participants (Button et al. and Foo Fig. It is unclear why the participant’s preferred pattern was not produced more consistently than the other patterns. 115 deg (C). Similar results have been found using adult.

. Continued. the conclusion we must reach is that patterns other than the participant’s preferred pattern were performed with similar variability but less accurately.5 and 164.Prosthetic Reaching 333 Fig. This effect appeared to be strongest in the required relative phase conditions most disparate from the preferred pattern in both arms (i. any .e. The fact that there were significant differences in mean relative phase across the various required relative phase conditions provides some support that environmental information influenced the participant’s intrinsic dynamics (coordination tendencies). However. Thus. Thus.5 deg required relative phase conditions). However. the results of the mean relative phase analysis do not completely support this explanation (see Figure 5). the environmental information in the form of the visual templates may have altered the participant’s intrinsic dynamics to some degree. even though the participant’s preferred pattern exhibited signs of strong stability. and tended to be larger in required relative phases above the preferred pattern (see Figure 5). in both arms. suggests that he performed the preferred pattern in all required relative phase conditions. the 16. the actual mean relative phase tended to be less than the preferred pattern in required relative phases below the participant’s preferred pattern. because there were significant differences in mean relative phase across the various required relative phase conditions. For example. 9.

A nearly in-phase relationship was found between the X-direction (abduction/adduction) and Y-direction (forward/backward) of the elbow motion during pre and post preferred trials (see Figures 9A and 9E) and during the 115 deg required relative phase pattern (see Figure 9B). Previous work in non-amputee prehension has shown some of these characteristics to affect arm transport and aperture configuration prior to the grasp. affecting performance primarily on the scanning trials. see Paulignan and Jeannerod (1996) for a review.5 required relative phase conditions it preceded that of final aperture closing. Weeks. and between the 98. In addition. such as its relative location. the participant indicated that the contralateral shoulder was being used to help close the prehensor. suggested the required relative phase pattern between arm transport and aperture affects coordination patterns among other joints during prosthetic reaching. We speculate that the coordination of the ipsilateral elbow and the contralateral shoulder helps support the pattern of coordination between the arm and the aperture.and post-preferred trials were similar in both arms. This view is reminiscent of the concept of ‘motor equivalence’ which can be defined as the motor system’s ability . A change in the coordination was shown as the participant attempted to perform the other required phase patterns.5 and 82. size or weight. the type of prosthesis (i. It was found that the coordination of the contralateral shoulder during prosthetic reaching appeared to be affected by the required relative phase condition. it would be important to determine whether coordination of the contralateral shoulder is affected by characteristics of the grasped object. The pre. A possible explanation for the unintuitive finding is that the contralateral shoulder was used to facilitate final closing of the prehensor onto the object only during the preferred pattern. suggesting the preferred pattern within each arm remained rather stable. Another important feature of the present study was the analysis of proximal joint coordination of the shoulder and elbow.e. and Foo shift in the intrinsic dynamics appeared to be temporary. These results.and post-preferred trials. when coupled with the contralateral shoulder results. In required relative phase conditions between 16. he was unaware of the relative timing differences in the use of the contralateral shoulder during the different relative phase conditions.334 Wallace. the initiation of forward contralateral shoulder motion followed that of final aperture closing. During the pre.. Indeed.5 deg. However.5 and 164. voluntary opening or voluntary closing) would be predicted to affect the coordination of the contralateral shoulder. the initiation of forward contralateral shoulder motion occurred approximately at the same time as initiation of final aperture closing (see Figure 8). in post-exit interviews. In the future. Another interesting feature of the results was the coordination of the ipsilateral elbow in prosthetic reaching.

Wallace. Green. in a second type of prosthesis referred to as a voluntary opening prosthesis. For example. . an examination of the Figure 8 reveals that the mean relative phase of final aperture closing deviated little. 1994) but more work needs to be done to verify this prediction in both anatomical and prosthetic reaching. control parameters are outside (external to the participant) variables that are imposed on the performer that theoretically alter the ‘attractor landscape’ associated with the order parameter (Kelso. Hence. This type of behavior might thus represent a form of motor equivalence during prosthetic reaching. for example. 1995. 1995. these coordination tendencies have been associated with the constraints within the performer and represent the stability of the various coordination patterns involved in the task. 1995). in prosthetic reaching and grasping. Wallace. particularly between 33 and 131. see Kelso (1995) and Wallace (1996) for a review. 1988.25 deg required relative phases. respectively. the prehensor is closed and opened by increasing and decreasing cable tension. For example. Presumably. respectively.Prosthetic Reaching 335 to achieve the same goal in many different ways (Bernstein. Systematic changes in the control parameter serve to de-stabilize certain patterns and induce switching from less to more stable patterns of coordination. However. We speculate that a change in the mechanical constraints of the prosthesis may interact with the intrinsic dynamics of the wearer. Phase shifts towards preferred patterns of coordination in prehension movements have been documented (Foo. 1967). we contend that ‘control parameters’ (Haken. Scho¨ner & Kelso. 1996). In dynamic pattern theory. While not manipulated in the present study. the effective operation of the prosthesis requires an interaction between the wearer’s intrinsic dynamics (within the wearer’s body) and the mechanical constraints of the prosthesis. and a required postural orientation of the limb has been shown to be potent control parameters in bi-manual coordination studies. 1983) could also influence the observed coordination patterns in prosthetic prehension. in the voluntary closing prosthesis used by our participant. Until now. The performer’s intrinsic dynamics (coordination tendencies) play a strong role in the coordination patterns that emerge in a given task (see Kelso. both the preferred patterns among the relevant joints of the wearer and the mechanical constraints of the prosthesis are proposed to contribute to the wearer’s total intrinsic dynamics. Graese. For example. However. the mechanical constraints are reversed such that increasing and decreasing cable tension causes the prehensor to open and close. thus altering the observed coordination patterns. we would like to extend this concept to the mechanical constraints (or coordination tendencies) of the prosthesis. Both movement speed as dictated by an external metronome. both the contralateral shoulder and ipsilateral elbow coordination changed considerably. & Foo.

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