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A robotic platform to assess, guide and perturb rat forelimb movements


Vigaru, Bogdan C; Lambercy, Olivier; Schubring-Giese, Maximilian; Hosp, Jonas A; Schneider, Melanie; Osei-Atiemo, Clement; Luft, Andreas R; Gassert, Roger (2013). A robotic platform to assess, guide and perturb rat forelimb movements. IEEE transactions on neural systems and rehabilitation engineering : a publication of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 21(5):796-805.

Abstract

Animal models are widely used to explore the mechanisms underlying sensorimotor control and learning. However, current experimental paradigms allow only limited control over task difficulty and cannot provide detailed information on forelimb kinematics and dynamics. Here we propose a novel robotic device for use in motor learning investigations with rats. The compact, highly transparent, three degree-of-freedom manipulandum is capable of rendering nominal forces of 2 N to guide or perturb rat forelimb movements, while providing objective and quantitative assessments of endpoint motor performance in a 50×30 mm(2) planar workspace. Preliminary experiments with six healthy rats show that the animals can be familiarized with the experimental setup and are able to grasp and manipulate the end-effector of the robot. Further, dynamic perturbations and guiding force fields (i.e., haptic tunnels) rendered by the device had significant influence on rat motor behavior (ANOVA, ). This approach opens up new research avenues for future characterizations of motor learning stages, both in healthy and in stroke models.

Abstract

Animal models are widely used to explore the mechanisms underlying sensorimotor control and learning. However, current experimental paradigms allow only limited control over task difficulty and cannot provide detailed information on forelimb kinematics and dynamics. Here we propose a novel robotic device for use in motor learning investigations with rats. The compact, highly transparent, three degree-of-freedom manipulandum is capable of rendering nominal forces of 2 N to guide or perturb rat forelimb movements, while providing objective and quantitative assessments of endpoint motor performance in a 50×30 mm(2) planar workspace. Preliminary experiments with six healthy rats show that the animals can be familiarized with the experimental setup and are able to grasp and manipulate the end-effector of the robot. Further, dynamic perturbations and guiding force fields (i.e., haptic tunnels) rendered by the device had significant influence on rat motor behavior (ANOVA, ). This approach opens up new research avenues for future characterizations of motor learning stages, both in healthy and in stroke models.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:14 Nov 2013 11:45
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:08
Publisher:Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISSN:1534-4320
Additional Information:© 2013 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1109/TNSRE.2013.2240014
PubMed ID:23335672

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