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Stimulation enhancement effect of the combination of exoskeleton-assisted hand rehabilitation and fingertip haptic stimulation

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jichun Li



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Providing stimulation enhancements to existing hand rehabilitation training methods may help stroke 12 survivors achieve better treatment outcomes. This paper presents a comparison study to explore the 13 stimulation enhancement effects of the combination of exoskeleton-assisted hand rehabilitation and 14 fingertip haptic stimulation by analyzing behavioral data and event-related potentials. The stimulation 15 effects of the touch sensations created by a water bottle and that created by cutaneous fingertip 16 stimulation with pneumatic actuators are also investigated. Fingertip haptic stimulation was combined 17 with exoskeleton-assisted hand rehabilitation while the haptic stimulation was synchronized with the 18 motion of our hand exoskeleton. In the experiments, three experimental modes, including exoskeleton-19 assisted grasping motion without haptic stimulation (Mode 1), exoskeleton-assisted grasping motion 20 with haptic stimulation (Mode 2), and exoskeleton-assisted grasping motion with a water bottle (Mode 21 3), were compared. The behavioral analysis results showed that the change of experimental modes had 22 no significant effect on the recognition accuracy of stimulation levels (p=0.658), while regarding the 23 response time, exoskeleton-assisted grasping motion with haptic stimulation was the same as grasping 24 a water bottle (p=0.441) but significantly different from that without haptic stimulation (p=0.006). The 25 analysis of event-related potentials showed that the primary motor cortex, premotor cortex, and primary 26 somatosensory areas of the brain were more activated when both the hand motion assistance and 27 fingertip haptic feedback were provided using our proposed method (P300 amplitude 9.46μV). 28 Compared to only applying exoskeleton-assisted hand motion, the P300 amplitude was significantly 29 improved by providing both exoskeleton-assisted hand motion and fingertip haptic stimulation 30 (p=0.006), but no significant differences were found between any other two modes (Mode 2 vs. Mode 31 3: p=0.227, Mode 1 vs. Mode 3: p=0.918). Different modes did not significantly affect the P300 latency 32 (p=0.102). Stimulation intensity had no effect on the P300 amplitude (p=0.295, 0.414, 0.867) and 33 latency (p=0.417, 0.197, 0.607). Thus, we conclude that combining exoskeleton-assisted hand motion 34 and fingertip haptic stimulation provided stronger stimulation on the motor cortex and somatosensory 35 cortex of the brain simultaneously; the stimulation effects of the touch sensations created by a water 36 bottle and that created by cutaneous fingertip stimulation with pneumatic actuators are similar.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Li M, Chen J, He B, He G, Zhao C, Yuan H, Xie J, Xu G, Li J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Frontiers in Neuroscience

Year: 2023

Volume: 17

Online publication date: 23/05/2023

Acceptance date: 03/05/2023

Date deposited: 02/06/2023

ISSN (print): 1662-4548

ISSN (electronic): 1662-453X

Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation


DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2023.1149265


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