Proprioceptive impairment causes movement inaccuracies and lack of inter-limb coordination in several movement disorders, which necessitates an accurate joint position sense evaluation as part of neurological evaluation. Currently, position sense acuity (i.e., the sharpness of the sense) is evaluated by means of joint position matching methods which involve matching a target position on one limb with the same limb or the other. These position sense evaluations can only identify severe impairments of position sense. They fail to isolate proprioception from other sensory inputs and are confounded by factors such as inter-hemispheric transfer and working memory. Alternatively, psychophysical evaluation methods are available. They are often used in research to evaluate joint position sense and are considered as ‘gold standard’ for assessing the sensitivity and acuity of the perceptual system. The purpose of this study was to compare and contrast the arm position sense acuity obtained by a contralateral matching task using a bimanual manipulandum with a psychophysical threshold measure using a passive motion apparatus. Results suggest that psychophysical testing provides a more precise measure of arm position sense acuity than measurements obtained in a contralateral matching task. Although, being two different evaluation methods for the common variable – arm position sense acuity, they show a poor correlation to each other. These findings suggest that psychophysical evaluation can help identify joint position sense impairment more accurately in patients with neurological disorders.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. December 2016. Major: Kinesiology. Advisor: JÃ¼rgen Konczak. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 35 pages.
Proprioceptive Acuity As Measured By Traditional Matching Task Vs. Novel Psychophysical Task.
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