Alpha-Band Activity in Parietofrontal Cortex Predicts Future Availability of Vibrotactile Feedback in Prosthesis Use

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Johnson, John T.
Gavetti De Mari, Daniele
Doherty, Harper
Hammond III, Frank L.
Wheaton, Lewis A.
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Prosthesis disuse and abandonment is an ongoing issue in upper-limb amputation. In addition to lost structural and motor function, amputation also results in decreased task-specific sensory information. One proposed remedy is augmenting somatosensory information using vibrotactile feedback to provide tactile feedback of grasping objects. While the role of frontal and parietal areas in motor tasks is well established, the neural and kinematic effects of this augmented vibrotactile feedback remain in question. In this study, we sought to understand the neurobehavioral effects of providing augmented feedback during a reach-grasp -transport task. Ten persons with sound limbs performed a motor task while wearing a prosthesis simulator with and without vibrotactile feedback. We hypothesized that providing vibrotactile feedback during prosthesis use would increase activity in frontal and parie tal areas and improve grasp-related behavior. Results show that anticipation of upcoming vibrotactile feedback may be encoded in motor and parietal areas during the reach-to-grasp phase of the task. While grasp aperture is unaffected by vibrotactile feedback, the availability of vibrotactile feedback does lead to a reduction in velocity during object transport. These results help shed light on how engineered feedback is utilized by prostheses users and provide methodologies for further assessment in advanced prosthetics research.
National Institutes of Health T32HD055180
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