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In this paper, we describe a biomimetic-fabric-based sensing glove that can be used to monitor hand posture and gesture. Our device is made of a distributed sensor network of piezoresistive conductive elastomers integrated into an elastic fabric. This solution does not affect natural movement and hand gestures, and can be worn for a long time with no discomfort. The glove could be fruitfully employed in behavioral and functional studies with functional MRI (fMRI) during specific tactile or motor tasks. To assess MR compatibility of the system, a statistical test on phantoms is introduced. This test can also be used for testing the compatibility of mechatronic devices designed to produce different stimuli inside the MR environment. We propose a statistical test to evaluate changes in SNR and time-domain standard deviations between image sequences acquired under different experimental conditions. fMRI experiments on subjects wearing the glove are reported. The reproducibility of fMRI results obtained with and without the glove was estimated. A good similarity between the activated regions was found in the two conditions.
Date of Publication: June 2008