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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0100-879XOn-line version ISSN 1414-431X


MIJOVIC, B.; POPOVIC, M.B.  and  POPOVIC, D.B.. Synergistic control of forearm based on accelerometer data and artificial neural networks. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2008, vol.41, n.5, pp.389-397.  Epub Apr 30, 2008. ISSN 1414-431X.

In the present study, we modeled a reaching task as a two-link mechanism. The upper arm and forearm motion trajectories during vertical arm movements were estimated from the measured angular accelerations with dual-axis accelerometers. A data set of reaching synergies from able-bodied individuals was used to train a radial basis function artificial neural network with upper arm/forearm tangential angular accelerations. The trained radial basis function artificial neural network for the specific movements predicted forearm motion from new upper arm trajectories with high correlation (mean, 0.9149-0.941). For all other movements, prediction was low (range, 0.0316-0.8302). Results suggest that the proposed algorithm is successful in generalization over similar motions and subjects. Such networks may be used as a high-level controller that could predict forearm kinematics from voluntary movements of the upper arm. This methodology is suitable for restoring the upper limb functions of individuals with motor disabilities of the forearm, but not of the upper arm. The developed control paradigm is applicable to upper-limb orthotic systems employing functional electrical stimulation. The proposed approach is of great significance particularly for humans with spinal cord injuries in a free-living environment. The implication of a measurement system with dual-axis accelerometers, developed for this study, is further seen in the evaluation of movement during the course of rehabilitation. For this purpose, training-related changes in synergies apparent from movement kinematics during rehabilitation would characterize the extent and the course of recovery. As such, a simple system using this methodology is of particular importance for stroke patients. The results underlie the important issue of upper-limb coordination.

Keywords : Synergy; Accelerometers; Artificial neural network; Control; Neural prosthesis; Functional electrical stimulation.

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