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Contributions of Intrinsic Visco-Elastic Torques During Planar Index Finger and Wrist Movements

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3 Author(s)
Deshpande, A.D. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX, USA ; Gialias, N. ; Matsuoka, Y.

Human hand movements have been studied for many decades, yet the role of hand biomechanics in achieving dexterity has not been fully understood. In this paper, we investigate the contributions of the intrinsic passive viscoelastic component in the hand during the coordinated wrist and hand movements. We compare the contributions of stiffness, damping, and dynamics torques under two types of joint phase movements at two speeds. The analysis of the data collected from subject studies demonstrated that the passive visco-elastic component is dominant over dynamic coupling terms. Although the exact contributions of the three torques vary under different speeds and phasic movements, the stiffness torque was the highest (at least 47%) followed by the damping torque, while the dynamics torque was the lowest (less than 11%) in all movement scenarios. Comparisons with studies involving coordinated arm movements illustrate that dominant torques in arm and hand movements are different suggesting that neural control strategies might be distinct as well.

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 2 )