Date of Award

Fall 2007

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Johnson, Michelle J.

Second Advisor

Winters, Jack

Third Advisor

Bansal, Naveen

Abstract

The experimental studies conducted in this thesis aim to develop a low-cost rehabilitation system focused on bilateral arm use that can quantify and reduce impairment and disability leading to learned non use. In addition, we also aim to investigate a therapy strategy based on force-feedback cueing to train stroke survivors to train impaired arm use during bilateral tracking with the decoupled wheels. This thesis is organized in four hierarchical levels: Level 1: Analysis of the problem (Chapterl, Chapter 2) Level 2: Experiments with existing environment (Chapter 3) Level 3: Development, implementation, and validation studies (Chapter 4), Level4: Experimental Evaluation (Chapter 5) Chapter 1 focuses on the motivation behind the existing research. Chapter 2 reviews existing research in the same area and addresses different existing solutions to the proposed problem of bilateral training paradigms. Chapter 3 reports on the results from bilateral training on the existing one wheeled system (TheraDrive ). Chapter 4 focuses on the development and evaluation of the decoupled bilateral training paradigm. It also reports the results of the pilot study to prove the repeatability and effectiveness of the system in quantifying handedness in able bodied subjects and learned non use in stroke survivors. Chapter 5 reports on different force cueing strategies delivered with the same system and its effect on preferential arm use in able-bodied subjects. Chapter 6 presents overall conclusions and future direction of this research.

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