Quantifying the contribution of arm postural tremor to the outcome of goal-directed pointing task by displacement measures

Luca Faes, Federico Schena, Luca Faes, Giandomenico Nollo, Barbara Pellegrini

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25 Citazioni (Scopus)


A method for quantifying the outcome of goal-directed postural pointing was presented and used for relating the tremor output to the oscillations of single arm landmarks. The displacement of reflective markers placed on shoulder, upper arm, forearm, and hand were measured by an optoelectronic motion capture system in nine subjects holding a laser penlight pointed at a target. The high signal-to-noise ratio of the measured displacement series (from 7:1 for shoulder marker to 30:1 for hand marker) demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed system to carry out tremor analysis. The track of the laser emission on the target, reconstructed from penlight displacements, was studied as the outcome of the pointing task. By measuring the length and the dispersion of the path covered by the target track in 30 s, a significant and comparable tremor amplitude was found in vertical and lateral directions. The correlation between target track and arm tremor was stronger for distal than for proximal markers. Spectral and cross-spectral analyses evidenced the presence of a dominant low frequency oscillation (1.5 Hz), along with a high frequency one (5-7 Hz), in the displacement of the target track. These two components were significantly linked to the oscillations of the hand, the forearm and the upper arm but not to those of the shoulder, suggesting that the oscillations in the overall tremor output during the pointing task are mainly generated by the arm segments. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)185-193
Numero di pagine9
RivistaJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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