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Precision grip force dynamics: a system identification approach

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3 Author(s)
Fagergren, A. ; Karolinska Inst., Astrid Lindgren Children''s Hosp., Stockholm, Sweden ; Ekeberg, O. ; Forssberg, H.

A linear model of the dynamics of the human precision grip is presented. The transfer function is identified as representing the peripheral motor subsystem. from the motoneuron pool to the final production of a grip force between the tip of the index finger and the thumb. The transfer function captures the limiting isometric muscle dynamics that, e.g., cortical motor areas have to act through. When identifying the transfer function the authors introduce a novel technique, common subsystem identification. This characterizes a specific subsystem in a complex biomechanical system. This technique requires data from two functionally different experiments that both involve the subsystem of interest. Two transfer functions, one for each experiment, are then estimated using a linear black box technique. The common mathematical factors, represented by poles and zeros, are used to form a new transfer function. It is concluded that this transfer function represents the common biological subsystem involved in both experiments. Here, the authors use one active and one reactive isometric grip force experiment to capture the subsystem of interest, i.e., the motoneuron pool, motor units, muscles, tendons and fingertip tissue. The characteristics of the dynamics are in agreement with previously published experiments on human neuro-muscular systems. The model, H(s)=280/(s 2+22s+280), is well suited for the representation of a force producing end-effector in simulations including a control system with sensory feedback.

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 10 )