Date of Award

Fall 2006

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Scheidt, Robert A.

Second Advisor

DeYoe, Edgar A.

Third Advisor

Mosier, Kristine M.


The overall goal of this research is to better understand the neural mechanisms contributing to the use of sensory information from multiple sources (eg. vision and proprioception) to stabilize the wrist against unexpected perturbations. Of fundamental importance for effective limb position (posture) regulation is the use of sensory information from multiple sources to assess task performance and to plan corrections in motor output when performance does not meet the desired objectives. For example, sensory feedback may indicate that the hand has been perturbed away from its intended position by some hand-held object, and that adjustments to the current motor plan must be adopted. The neural mechanisms contributing to the feedback regulation of limb position and motor command updating are incompletely understood, and their study in human subjects has been precluded by a lack of mechanically active devices which are compatible with the latest neuroimaging techniques. Here we describe the design, development and validation of a MR-compatible device for studying wrist posture regulation during functional brain imaging, and its subsequent use in studies of wrist stabilization in neurologically-intact human subjects.



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