van Hoorn, Jessika F.; Maathuis, Carel G. B.; Peters, Lieke H. J.; Hadders-Algra, Mijna
Aim The study investigated the relationships between handwriting, visuomotor integration, and neurological condition. We paid particular attention to the presence of minor neurological dysfunction (MND). Method Participants were 200 children (131 males, 69 females; age range 8-13y) of whom 118
Van Hoorn, Jessika F.; Maathuis, Carel G. B.; Peters, Lieke H. J.; Hadders-Algra, Mijna
Aim: The study investigated the relationships between handwriting, visuomotor integration, and neurological condition. We paid particular attention to the presence of minor neurological dysfunction (MND). Method : Participants were 200 children (131 males, 69 females; age range 8-13y) of whom 118 received mainstream education (mean age 10y 5mo, SD…
Duiser, Ivonne H F; van der Kamp, John; Ledebt, Annick; Savelsbergh, Geert J P
We examined whether the three subtests of the Beery Buktenica developmental test of visuomotor integration predicted quality of handwriting across and within groups of boys and girls classified as proficient, at risk or non-proficient writers according to the Concise Assessment Scale for Children's Handwriting. The Beery Buktenica developmental test of visuomotor integration and the Concise Assessment Scale for Children's Handwriting tests were administered to 240 grade 2 children. Proficient writers scored better on the visuomotor integration subtest than non-proficient writers, while proficient and at risk writers scored better than non-proficient writers on the motor coordination subtest. No differences were found on the visual perception subtest. Girls were more often classified as proficient writers than boys, and they scored better on the motor coordination subtest. Across groups, regression indicated that gender and both the visuomotor integration subtest and the motor coordination subtest were significant predictors for the quality of handwriting (i.e., accounted for 17% of the variance). After one year of writing tuition, the visuomotor integration subtest (and to a lesser extent the motor coordination subtest) but not the visual perception subtest significant relates to quality of children's handwriting as measured with the Concise Assessment Scale for Children's Handwriting. However, the relatively little variance explained also points to other abilities and/or task constraints that underlie quality of handwriting. © 2013 Occupational Therapy Australia.
Duiser, I.H.; van der Kamp, J.; Ledebt, A.; Savelsbergh, G.J.P.
Objective: We examined whether the three subtests of the Beery Buktenica developmental test of visuomotor integration predicted quality of handwriting across and within groups of boys and girls classified as proficient, at risk or non-proficient writers according to the Concise Assessment Scale for
Samuel James Vine
Full Text Available The aim of this article is to present an integrative conceptual framework that depicts the effect of acute stress on the performance of visually guided motor skills. We draw upon seminal theories highlighting the importance of subjective interpretations of stress on subsequent performance and outline how models of disrupted attentional control might explain this effect through impairments in visuomotor control. We first synthesize and critically discuss empirical support for theories examining these relationships in isolation. We then outline our integrative framework that seeks to provide a more complete picture of the interacting influences of stress responses (challenge and threat and attention in explaining how elevated stress may lead to different visuomotor performance outcomes. We propose a number of mechanisms that explain why evaluations of stress are related to attentional control, and highlight the emotion of anxiety as the most likely candidate to explain why negative reactions to stress lead to disrupted attention and poor visuomotor skill performance. Finally, we propose a number of feedback loops that explain why stress responses are often self-perpetuating, as well as a number of proposed interventions that are designed to help improve or maintain performance in real world performance environments (e.g., sport, surgery, military, and aviation.
Chung, Kevin Kien Hoa; Lam, Chun Bun; Cheung, Ka Chun
This cross-sectional study examined the associations of visuomotor integration and executive functioning with Chinese word reading and writing in kindergarten children. A total of 369 Chinese children (mean age = 57.99 months; 55% of them were girls) from Hong Kong, China, completed tasks on visuomotor integration, executive functioning, and…
Poon, K. W.; Li-Tsang, C. W .P.; Weiss, T. P. L.; Rosenblum, S.
This study aimed to investigate the effect of a computerized visual perception and visual-motor integration training program to enhance Chinese handwriting performance among children with learning difficulties, particularly those with handwriting problems. Participants were 26 primary-one children who were assessed by educational psychologists and…
Nobusako, Satoshi; Sakai, Ayami; Tsujimoto, Taeko; Shuto, Takashi; Nishi, Yuki; Asano, Daiki; Furukawa, Emi; Zama, Takuro; Osumi, Michihiro; Shimada, Sotaro; Morioka, Shu; Nakai, Akio
The neurological basis of developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is thought to be deficits in the internal model and mirror-neuron system (MNS) in the parietal lobe and cerebellum. However, it is not clear if the visuo-motor temporal integration in the internal model and automatic-imitation function in the MNS differs between children with DCD and those with typical development (TD). The current study aimed to investigate these differences. Using the manual dexterity test of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (second edition), the participants were either assigned to the probable DCD (pDCD) group or TD group. The former was comprised of 29 children with clumsy manual dexterity, while the latter consisted of 42 children with normal manual dexterity. Visuo-motor temporal integration ability and automatic-imitation function were measured using the delayed visual feedback detection task and motor interference task, respectively. Further, the current study investigated whether autism-spectrum disorder (ASD) traits, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) traits, and depressive symptoms differed among the two groups, since these symptoms are frequent comorbidities of DCD. In addition, correlation and multiple regression analyses were performed to extract factors affecting clumsy manual dexterity. In the results, the delay-detection threshold (DDT) and steepness of the delay-detection probability curve, which indicated visuo-motor temporal integration ability, were significantly prolonged and decreased, respectively, in children with pDCD. The interference effect, which indicated automatic-imitation function, was also significantly reduced in this group. These results highlighted that children with clumsy manual dexterity have deficits in visuo-motor temporal integration and automatic-imitation function. There was a significant correlation between manual dexterity, and measures of visuo-motor temporal integration, and ASD traits and ADHD traits and
Yoon, Ji Hye; Kim, Hyanghee; Kim, Jungwan; Park, Eunjeong; Kim, Soo Ryon
The aim of the present study was to delineate how age-related deterioration affects the handwriting of healthy elderly (HE) subjects. A total of 235 HE (54 males, 181 females) aged 57-91 years participated as subjects in the study. In order to compare the area of handwriting, we divided the participants into two groups: (i) aged 57-74 years; and (ii) aged 75-91 years. The writing stimulus was a four-syllabic word with one-to-one grapheme-to-phoneme correspondence. The size of each syllable in the target word was measured using a software program. Alignment of the word to baseline was assessed using a multiple-choice checklist. As compared with handwriting by the younger group, the older group showed greater variability in the size of the written syllables within the word (P = 0.023). The handwriting was characterized by unequal size among syllables and non-perpendicular alignment, which could be explained by several factors. First, the variability might have resulted from irregular fine movement motor control in older adults. Second, the deterioration of visual feedback and visuomotor integration in normal aging might have affected handwriting performance. In conclusion, variability of handwriting can be sensitive in predicting the aging process. © 2013 Japan Geriatrics Society.
Lin, John J. H.; Lin, Sunny S. J.
To deepen our understanding of those aspects of problems that cause the most difficulty for solvers, this study integrated eye-tracking with handwriting devices to investigate problem solvers' online processes while solving geometry problems. We are interested in whether the difference between successful and unsuccessful solvers can be identified…
Case-Smith, Jane; Holland, Terri; Bishop, Beth
We developed and piloted a program for first-grade students to promote development of legible handwriting and writing fluency. The Write Start program uses a coteaching model in which occupational therapists and teachers collaborate to develop and implement a handwriting-writing program. The small-group format with embedded individualized supports allows the therapist to guide and monitor student performance and provide immediate feedback. The 12-wk program was implemented with 1 class of 19 students. We administered the Evaluation of Children's Handwriting Test, Minnesota Handwriting Assessment, and Woodcock-Johnson Fluency and Writing Samples test at baseline, immediately after the Write Start program, and at the end of the school year. Students made large, significant gains in handwriting legibility and speed and in writing fluency that were maintained at 6-mo follow-up. The Write Start program appears to promote handwriting and writing skills in first-grade students and is ready for further study in controlled trials.
Feder, Katya P; Majnemer, Annette
Failure to attain handwriting competency during the school-age years often has far-reaching negative effects on both academic success and self-esteem. This complex occupational task has many underlying component skills that may interfere with handwriting performance. Fine motor control, bilateral and visual-motor integration, motor planning, in-hand manipulation, proprioception, visual perception, sustained attention, and sensory awareness of the fingers are some of the component skills identified. Poor handwriting may be related to intrinsic factors, which refer to the child's actual handwriting capabilities, or extrinsic factors which are related to environmental or biomechanical components, or both. It is important that handwriting performance be evaluated using a valid, reliable, standardized tool combined with informal classroom observation and teacher consultation. Studies of handwriting remediation suggest that intervention is effective. There is evidence to indicate that handwriting difficulties do not resolve without intervention and affect between 10 and 30% of school-aged children. Despite the widespread use of computers, legible handwriting remains an important life skill that deserves greater attention from educators and health practitioners.
Lee, Tzu-I; Howe, Tsu-Hsin; Chen, Hao-Ling; Wang, Tien-Ni
This study investigates handwriting characteristics and potential predictors of handwriting legibility among typically developing elementary school children in Taiwan. Predictors of handwriting legibility included visual-motor integration (VMI), visual perception (VP), eye-hand coordination (EHC), and biomechanical characteristics of handwriting. A total of 118 children were recruited from an elementary school in Taipei, Taiwan. A computerized program then assessed their handwriting legibility. The biomechanics of handwriting were assessed using a digitizing writing tablet. The children's VMI, VP, and EHC were assessed using the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration. Results indicated that predictive factors of handwriting legibility varied in different age groups. VMI predicted handwriting legibility for first-grade students, and EHC and stroke force predicted handwriting legibility for second-grade students. Kinematic factors such as stroke velocity were the only predictor for children in fifth and sixth grades. Copyright © 2016 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
Luria, Gil; Rosenblum, Sara
The goal of this study was to test the effect of mental workload on handwriting behavior and to identify characteristics of low versus high mental workload in handwriting. We hypothesized differences between handwriting under three different load conditions and tried to establish a profile that integrated these indicators. Fifty-six participants wrote three numerical progressions of varying difficulty on a digitizer attached to a computer so that we could evaluate their handwriting behavior. Differences were found in temporal, spatial, and angular velocity handwriting measures, but no significant differences were found for pressure measures. Using data reduction, we identified three clusters of handwriting, two of which differentiated well according to the three mental workload conditions. We concluded that handwriting behavior is affected by mental workload and that each measure provides distinct information, so that they present a comprehensive indicator of mental workload.
Bonzano, L; Tacchino, A; Roccatagliata, L; Sormani, M P; Mancardi, G L; Bove, M
Sequence learning can be investigated by serial reaction-time (SRT) paradigms. Explicit learning occurs when subjects have to recognize a test sequence and has been shown to activate the frontoparietal network in both contralateral and ipsilateral hemispheres. Thus, the left and right superior longitudinal fasciculi (SLF), connecting the intra-hemispheric frontoparietal circuits, could have a role in explicit unimanual visuomotor learning. Also, as both hemispheres are involved, we could hypothesize that the corpus callosum (CC) has a role in this process. Pathological damage in both SLF and CC has been detected in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS), and microstructural alterations can be quantified by Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI). In light of these findings, we inquired whether PwMS with minimal disability showed impairments in explicit visuomotor sequence learning and whether this could be due to loss of white matter integrity in these intra- and inter-hemispheric white matter pathways. Thus, we combined DTI analysis with a modified version of SRT task based on finger opposition movements in a group of PwMS with minimal disability. We found that the performance in explicit sequence learning was significantly reduced in these patients with respect to healthy subjects; the amount of sequence-specific learning was found to be more strongly correlated with fractional anisotropy (FA) in the CC (r=0.93) than in the left (r=0.28) and right SLF (r=0.27) (p for interaction=0.005 and 0.04 respectively). This finding suggests that an inter-hemispheric information exchange between the homologous areas is required to successfully accomplish the task and indirectly supports the role of the right (ipsilateral) hemisphere in explicit visuomotor learning. On the other hand, we found no significant correlation of the FA in the CC and in the SLFs with nonspecific learning (assessed when stimuli are randomly presented), supporting the hypothesis that inter
Hugo L Fernandes
Full Text Available Generalization studies examine the influence of perturbations imposed on one movement onto other movements. The strength of generalization is traditionally interpreted as a reflection of the similarity of the underlying neural representations. Uncertainty fundamentally affects both sensory integration and learning and is at the heart of many theories of neural representation. However, little is known about how uncertainty, resulting from variability in the environment, affects generalization curves. Here we extend standard movement generalization experiments to ask how uncertainty affects the generalization of visuomotor rotations. We find that although uncertainty affects how fast subjects learn, the perturbation generalizes independently of uncertainty.
Gonzalez, F. A.; Waller, M. B.
Description of a writing console which was used for monitoring handwriting behavior. The main feature of the console is a translucent Plexiglass paddle, pivoted on a thin bronze tube, with its top flat surface providing the writing surface. The console was used in experiments on two subjects under various schedules of monetary reinforcement for handwriting. The results suggest that handwriting is an effective approach to the analysis of human behavior.
Duval-White, Cherie J; Jirikowic, Tracy; Rios, Dianne; Deitz, Jean; Olson, Heather Carmichael
Handwriting is a critical skill for school success. Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) often present with fine motor and visual-motor impairments that can affect handwriting performance, yet handwriting skills have not been systematically investigated in this clinical group. This study aimed to comprehensively describe handwriting skills in 20 school-age children with FASD. Children were tested with the Process Assessment of the Learner, 2nd Edition (PAL-II), and the Visuomotor Precision subtest of NEPSY, a developmental neuropsychological assessment. Participants performed below average on PAL-II measures of handwriting legibility and speed and on NEPSY visual-motor precision tasks. In contrast, PAL-II measures of sensorimotor skills were broadly within the average range. Results provide evidence of functional handwriting challenges for children with FASD and suggest diminished visual-motor skills and increased difficulty as task complexity increases. Future research is needed to further describe the prevalence and nature of handwriting challenges in this population. Copyright © 2013 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
Gerth, Sabrina; Klassert, Annegret; Dolk, Thomas; Fliesser, Michael; Fischer, Martin H; Nottbusch, Guido; Festman, Julia
Due to their multifunctionality, tablets offer tremendous advantages for research on handwriting dynamics or for interactive use of learning apps in schools. Further, the widespread use of tablet computers has had a great impact on handwriting in the current generation. But, is it advisable to teach how to write and to assess handwriting in pre- and primary schoolchildren on tablets rather than on paper? Since handwriting is not automatized before the age of 10 years, children's handwriting movements require graphomotor and visual feedback as well as permanent control of movement execution during handwriting. Modifications in writing conditions, for instance the smoother writing surface of a tablet, might influence handwriting performance in general and in particular those of non-automatized beginning writers. In order to investigate how handwriting performance is affected by a difference in friction of the writing surface, we recruited three groups with varying levels of handwriting automaticity: 25 preschoolers, 27 second graders, and 25 adults. We administered three tasks measuring graphomotor abilities, visuomotor abilities, and handwriting performance (only second graders and adults). We evaluated two aspects of handwriting performance: the handwriting quality with a visual score and the handwriting dynamics using online handwriting measures [e.g., writing duration, writing velocity, strokes and number of inversions in velocity (NIV)]. In particular, NIVs which describe the number of velocity peaks during handwriting are directly related to the level of handwriting automaticity. In general, we found differences between writing on paper compared to the tablet. These differences were partly task-dependent. The comparison between tablet and paper revealed a faster writing velocity for all groups and all tasks on the tablet which indicates that all participants-even the experienced writers-were influenced by the lower friction of the tablet surface. Our results
Full Text Available Due to their multifunctionality, tablets offer tremendous advantages for research on handwriting dynamics or for interactive use of learning apps in schools. Further, the widespread use of tablet computers has had a great impact on handwriting in the current generation. But, is it advisable to teach how to write and to assess handwriting in pre- and primary schoolchildren on tablets rather than on paper? Since handwriting is not automatized before the age of ten years, children’s handwriting movements require graphomotor and visual feedback as well as permanent control of movement execution during handwriting. Modifications in writing conditions, for instance the smoother writing surface of a tablet, might influence handwriting performance in general, and in particular those of non-automatized beginning writers.In order to investigate how handwriting performance is affected by a difference in friction of the writing surface, we recruited three groups with varying levels of handwriting automaticity: 25 preschoolers, 27 second graders and 25 adults. We administered three tasks measuring graphomotor abilities, visuomotor abilities and handwriting performance (only second graders and adults. We evaluated two aspects of handwriting performance: the handwriting quality with a visual score and the handwriting dynamics using online handwriting measures (e.g. writing duration, writing velocity, strokes and number of inversions in velocity (NIV. In particular, NIVs which describe the number of velocity peaks during handwriting, are directly related to the level of handwriting automaticity.In general, we found differences between writing on paper compared to the tablet. These differences were partly task-dependent. The comparison between tablet and paper revealed a faster writing velocity for all groups and all tasks on the tablet which indicates that all participants – even the experienced writers – were influenced by the lower friction of the
Gerth, Sabrina; Klassert, Annegret; Dolk, Thomas; Fliesser, Michael; Fischer, Martin H.; Nottbusch, Guido; Festman, Julia
Due to their multifunctionality, tablets offer tremendous advantages for research on handwriting dynamics or for interactive use of learning apps in schools. Further, the widespread use of tablet computers has had a great impact on handwriting in the current generation. But, is it advisable to teach how to write and to assess handwriting in pre- and primary schoolchildren on tablets rather than on paper? Since handwriting is not automatized before the age of 10 years, children's handwriting movements require graphomotor and visual feedback as well as permanent control of movement execution during handwriting. Modifications in writing conditions, for instance the smoother writing surface of a tablet, might influence handwriting performance in general and in particular those of non-automatized beginning writers. In order to investigate how handwriting performance is affected by a difference in friction of the writing surface, we recruited three groups with varying levels of handwriting automaticity: 25 preschoolers, 27 second graders, and 25 adults. We administered three tasks measuring graphomotor abilities, visuomotor abilities, and handwriting performance (only second graders and adults). We evaluated two aspects of handwriting performance: the handwriting quality with a visual score and the handwriting dynamics using online handwriting measures [e.g., writing duration, writing velocity, strokes and number of inversions in velocity (NIV)]. In particular, NIVs which describe the number of velocity peaks during handwriting are directly related to the level of handwriting automaticity. In general, we found differences between writing on paper compared to the tablet. These differences were partly task-dependent. The comparison between tablet and paper revealed a faster writing velocity for all groups and all tasks on the tablet which indicates that all participants—even the experienced writers—were influenced by the lower friction of the tablet surface. Our
Saijo, Naoki; Gomi, Hiroaki
Vision and proprioception contribute to generating hand movement. If a conflict between the visual and proprioceptive feedback of hand position is given, reaching movement is disturbed initially but recovers after training. Although previous studies have predominantly investigated the adaptive change in the motor output, it is unclear whether the contributions of visual and proprioceptive feedback controls to the reaching movement are modified by visuomotor adaptation. To investigate this, we focused on the change in proprioceptive feedback control associated with visuomotor adaptation. After the adaptation to gradually introduce visuomotor rotation, the hand reached the shifted position of the visual target to move the cursor to the visual target correctly. When the cursor feedback was occasionally eliminated (probe trial), the end point of the hand movement was biased in the visual-target direction, while the movement was initiated in the adapted direction, suggesting the incomplete adaptation of proprioceptive feedback control. Moreover, after the learning of uncertain visuomotor rotation, in which the rotation angle was randomly fluctuated on a trial-by-trial basis, the end-point bias in the probe trial increased, but the initial movement direction was not affected, suggesting a reduction in the adaptation level of proprioceptive feedback control. These results suggest that the change in the relative contribution of visual and proprioceptive feedback controls to the reaching movement in response to the visuomotor-map uncertainty is involved in visuomotor adaptation, whereas feedforward control might adapt in a manner different from that of the feedback control.
Linderman, Michael; Lebedev, Mikhail A.; Erlichman, Joseph S.
Handwriting – one of the most important developments in human culture – is also a methodological tool in several scientific disciplines, most importantly handwriting recognition methods, graphology and medical diagnostics. Previous studies have relied largely on the analyses of handwritten traces or kinematic analysis of handwriting; whereas electromyographic (EMG) signals associated with handwriting have received little attention. Here we show for the first time, a method in which EMG signals generated by hand and forearm muscles during handwriting activity are reliably translated into both algorithm-generated handwriting traces and font characters using decoding algorithms. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of recreating handwriting solely from EMG signals – the finding that can be utilized in computer peripherals and myoelectric prosthetic devices. Moreover, this approach may provide a rapid and sensitive method for diagnosing a variety of neurogenerative diseases before other symptoms become clear. PMID:19707562
Baldi, Silvia; Nunzi, Michela; Brina, Carlo Di
Evidence suggests that task-based training approaches can improve the performance of children with handwriting difficulties. The present case study tests the efficacy of the Handwriting Task Program (HTP). Three male children (9-10 yr. old) with poor handwriting skills and different developmental disorders participated in the HTP, twice per week, for 13 wk. Handwriting legibility was assessed through the Concise Evaluation Scale for Children's Handwriting, and fine motor performance and handwriting speed were evaluated at pre- and post-treatment with the Visual Motor Integration Test and the Battery for the assessment of writing skills of children from 7 to 13 yr. old. The results showed that motor efficiency and global handwriting quality improved in all the children, although some handwriting difficulties still persisted in one child with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Further study may confirm on a larger sample that a visual-spatially based training may improve the handwriting legibility of children with DCD.
Timmann, D; Shimansky, Y; Larson, P S; Wunderlich, D A; Stelmach, G E; Bloedel, J R
The aim of the present study was to demonstrate that patients with pathology affecting substantial regions of the cerebellum can improve their performance in a series of two-dimensional tracing tasks, thus supporting the view that this type of motor behavior can be acquired even when the integrity of this structure is compromised. Eight patients with chronic, isolated cerebellar lesions and eight age- and sex-matched healthy controls were tested. Three patients had mild, five had moderate upper limb ataxia. The experiment was divided into two parts. In the first, subjects traced an irregularly shaped outline over 20 consecutive trials ('Trace 1' task). Next, subjects were asked to redraw the object without any underlying template as a guide ('Memory 1' task). In the second part of the study, subjects were asked to trace a different, irregularly shaped outline over 20 consecutive trials ('Trace 2' task). Next, they were required to redraw it by memory with its axis rotated 90 degrees ('Memory 2' task). In each of the memory tasks the template was placed over the drawn image after each trial and shown to the subjects. The error of performance was determined by calculating three different measurements, each focused on different aspects of the task. Based on these measurements, the cerebellar patients showed improvement in both memory tasks. In the 'Memory 1' task the calculated error decreased significantly for the patients with mild ataxia. In the 'Memory 2' task all cerebellar patients improved their performance substantially enough to reduce significantly the magnitude of all three error measurements. The experiments demonstrate that patients with cerebellar lesions are capable of improving substantially their performance of a complex motor task involving the recall of memorized shapes and the visuomotor control of a tracing movement.
Brossard-Racine, Marie; Shevell, Michael; Snider, Laurie; Bélanger, Stacey Ageranioti; Julien, Marilyse; Majnemer, Annette
Children with ADHD often present with handwriting difficulties. However, the extent to which motor and attention skills influence performance in this group has not yet been explored. The objective of this study was to examine the factors associated with change in handwriting performance. This study examines the factors associated with change in handwriting performance of 49 children newly diagnosed with ADHD (mean age = 8.4 [SD=1.3] years) prior to and 3 months following use of a stimulant medication. Handwriting legibility and speed improved significantly at follow-up evaluation. However, most of the children with legibility difficulties at baseline continued to demonstrate difficulties when evaluated 3 months after initiation of medication. Change in handwriting legibility was best determined by improvements in visual-motor integration skills (β = 0.07-0.10; p Handwriting difficulties are common in children with ADHD, and medication alone is not sufficient to resolve these challenges. © 2012 SAGE Publications.
Saito, Kazuya; Uchida, Masafumi; Nozawa, Akio
Humanity fluctuation was reported in some fields. In handwriting process, fluctuation appears on handwriting-velocity. In this report, we focused attention on human rhythm perception and analyzed fluctuation in handwriting process. As a result, 1/f noise related to rhythm perception and features may caused by Kahneman's capacity model were measured on handwriting process.
Luis A. Uresti-Cabrera
Full Text Available Objective. To evaluate the effect of age-related cognitive changes in a visuomotor learning task that depends on strategic control and contrast it with the effect in a task principally depending on visuomotor recalibration. Methods. Participants performed a ball throwing task while donning either a reversing dove prism or a displacement wedge prism, which mainly depend on strategic control or visuomotor recalibration, respectively. Visuomotor performance was then analysed in relation to rule acquisition and reversal, recognition memory, visual memory, spatial planning, and spatial working memory with tasks from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB. Results. The results confirmed previous works showing a detrimental effect of age on visuomotor learning. The analyses of the cognitive changes observed across age showed that both strategic control and visuomotor recalibration had significant negative correlations only with the number of errors in the spatial working memory task. However, when the effect of aging was controlled, the only significant correlation remaining was between the reversal adaptation magnitude and spatial working memory. Discussion. These results suggest that spatial working memory decline across aging could contribute to age-dependent deterioration in both visuomotor learning processes. However, spatial working memory integrity seems to affect strategic learning decline even after controlling for aging.
Uresti-Cabrera, Luis A; Diaz, Rosalinda; Vaca-Palomares, Israel; Fernandez-Ruiz, Juan
To evaluate the effect of age-related cognitive changes in a visuomotor learning task that depends on strategic control and contrast it with the effect in a task principally depending on visuomotor recalibration. Participants performed a ball throwing task while donning either a reversing dove prism or a displacement wedge prism, which mainly depend on strategic control or visuomotor recalibration, respectively. Visuomotor performance was then analysed in relation to rule acquisition and reversal, recognition memory, visual memory, spatial planning, and spatial working memory with tasks from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). The results confirmed previous works showing a detrimental effect of age on visuomotor learning. The analyses of the cognitive changes observed across age showed that both strategic control and visuomotor recalibration had significant negative correlations only with the number of errors in the spatial working memory task. However, when the effect of aging was controlled, the only significant correlation remaining was between the reversal adaptation magnitude and spatial working memory. These results suggest that spatial working memory decline across aging could contribute to age-dependent deterioration in both visuomotor learning processes. However, spatial working memory integrity seems to affect strategic learning decline even after controlling for aging.
Langmaid, Rebecca A; Papadopoulos, Nicole; Johnson, Beth P; Phillips, James G; Rinehart, Nicole J
Children with ADHD-combined type (ADHD-CT) display fine and gross motor problems, often expressed as handwriting difficulties. This study aimed to kinematically characterize the handwriting of children with ADHD using a cursive letter l's task. In all, 28 boys (7-12 years), 14 ADHD-CT and 14 typically developing (TD), without developmental coordination disorder (DCD) or comorbid autism, wrote a series of four cursive letter l's using a graphics tablet and stylus. Children with ADHD-CT had more inconsistent writing size than did TD controls. In addition, ADHD-CT symptom severity, specifically inattention, predicted poorer handwriting outcomes. In a sample of children with ADHD-CT who do not have DCD or autism, subtle handwriting differences were evident. It was concluded that handwriting might be impaired in children with ADHD in a manner dependent on symptom severity. This may reflect reports of underlying motor impairment in ADHD. © 2011 SAGE Publications.
Gilboa, Yafit; Josman, Naomi; Fattal-Valevski, Aviva; Toledano-Alhadef, Hagit; Rosenblum, Sara
The objective of this study was to analyze the process and product of handwriting among children with Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1) in comparison to those of Typically Developing (TD) children. Children with NF1 are at risk for some cognitive deficits, a wide range of deficits in perceptual skills and, motor and visual-motor integration skills which may interfere with handwriting competency, which is an essential ingredient for success at school. Participants were 30 NF1 children and 30 age and gender matched TD children, between the ages 8 and 16.08. The handwriting performance of children with NF1 was evaluated with the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration (VMI), for copying text and free style writing tasks, using: (1) Computerized Penmanship Evaluation Tool (ComPET) to assess mechanical aspects of the writing process. (2) The Hebrew Handwriting Evaluation (HHE) to examine product legibility. (3) The Six-Trait Writing Model to judge the quality of the written product. Significant differences between the NF1 children and the control group were found in the process and product measures. Significant correlations were found between the VMI, the ComPET, the HHE and the Six-Trait Writing Model variables for both groups. We suggest a possible relationship between executive dysfunction and poor performance in handwriting.
Since their first inception, automatic reading systems have evolved substantially, yet the recognition of handwriting remains an open research problem due to its substantial variation in appearance. With the introduction of Markovian models to the field, a promising modeling and recognition paradigm was established for automatic handwriting recognition. However, no standard procedures for building Markov model-based recognizers have yet been established. This text provides a comprehensive overview of the application of Markov models in the field of handwriting recognition, covering both hidden
Taking into account findings in the literature, the author aimed to test whether specific graphical characteristics of handwriting can distinguish patients diagnosed with schizophrenic disorders from healthy controls. Handwriting samples (one sample from each person) from 60 outpatients (29 women, 31 men; age M = 28.5, SD = 5.4) with paranoid schizophrenia were analyzed by three documents examiners and were compared to samples from 60 controls (30 men, 30 women, age M = 28.0, SD = 3.0) without psychiatric disorders. Document examiners assessed 32 graphical features potentially related to schizophrenia. The comparisons between groups revealed that only 7 out of 32 handwriting properties were significantly different in the handwriting of schizophrenic outpatients from controls: the calligraphic forms of letters, loops in ovals, lacking of dots, tremor, sinusoidal baseline, and irregularities size of lower zone. These findings are discussed in terms of motor disturbances in schizophrenia and in relation to the previous research on handwriting of other mental disorders. Similarities between the graphical patterns of handwriting of schizophrenic patients and those of other mental disorders and/or other mental states have been demonstrated. © The Author(s) 2016.
Puri, Mukta; Srihari, Sargur N.; Hanson, Lisa
There is little work done in the analysis of children's handwriting, which can be useful in developing automatic evaluation systems and in quantifying handwriting individuality. We consider the statistical analysis of children's handwriting in early grades. Samples of handwriting of children in Grades 2-4 who were taught the Zaner-Bloser style were considered. The commonly occurring word "and" written in cursive style as well as hand-print were extracted from extended writing. The samples were assigned feature values by human examiners using a truthing tool. The human examiners looked at how the children constructed letter formations in their writing, looking for similarities and differences from the instructions taught in the handwriting copy book. These similarities and differences were measured using a feature space distance measure. Results indicate that the handwriting develops towards more conformity with the class characteristics of the Zaner-Bloser copybook which, with practice, is the expected result. Bayesian networks were learnt from the data to enable answering various probabilistic queries, such as determining students who may continue to produce letter formations as taught during lessons in school and determining the students who will develop a different and/or variation of the those letter formations and the number of different types of letter formations.
Imitated handwriting and elderly handwriting are two manifestation patterns of altered handwriting. Several similarities in features can be found in both, such as gentle movement and curved jitter. In practice, it is very easy to confuse the two patterns, leading to wrong decisions and difficulties in document examination. The key to solving these problems is to recognize the similarities and differences between imitated handwriting and elderly handwriting. This paper comprises four parts. Th...
Hellinckx, Tinneke; Roeyers, Herbert; Van Waelvelde, Hilde
During writing, perceptual, motor, and cognitive processes interact. This study explored the predictive value of several factors on handwriting quality as well as on speed in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Our results showed that, in this population, age, gender, and visual-motor integration significantly predicted handwriting…
Rodríguez, Cristina; Villarroel, Rebeca
This study examined whether spelling tasks contribute to the prediction of the handwriting status of children with poor and good handwriting skills in a cross-sectional study with 276 Spanish children from Grades 1 and 3. The main hypothesis was that the spelling tasks would predict the handwriting status of the children, although this influence…
Asher, Asha; Estes, Joanne
Handwriting is an essential literacy and communication skill developed through a variety of instructional methods in elementary school. This study explored the consistency in handwriting instruction across grade levels in a Midwest public school district 15 years after the school initially implemented a uniform handwriting program. Additionally,…
Li, Li; Chen, Rongrong; Chen, Jing
Can playing action video games improve visuomotor control? If so, can these games be used in training people to perform daily visuomotor-control tasks, such as driving? We found that action gamers have better lane-keeping and visuomotor-control skills than do non-action gamers. We then trained non-action gamers with action or nonaction video games. After they played a driving or first-person-shooter video game for 5 or 10 hr, their visuomotor control improved significantly. In contrast, non-action gamers showed no such improvement after they played a nonaction video game. Our model-driven analysis revealed that although different action video games have different effects on the sensorimotor system underlying visuomotor control, action gaming in general improves the responsiveness of the sensorimotor system to input error signals. The findings support a causal link between action gaming (for as little as 5 hr) and enhancement in visuomotor control, and suggest that action video games can be beneficial training tools for driving. © The Author(s) 2016.
Kaiser, Marie-Laure; Albaret, Jean-Michel; Doudin, Pierre-André
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of an explicit handwriting program introduced during the first grade of elementary school. Grade 1 children (N=23) with an age range of 6.1 to 7.4 yr. (15 girls, 8 boys) were administered an additional handwriting program of two weekly sessions of 45 min. over six weeks. Another group of 19 Grade 1 children (11 girls, 8 boys) received only the regular handwriting program of one weekly session. The Concise Assessment Scale for Children's Handwriting was administered to measure the changes in quality and speed of handwriting. The children given the explicit program showed better quality and speed of handwriting than did the control group. Their handwriting was more regular, with fewer ambiguous letters and fewer incorrect relative heights.
Pfeiffer, Beth; Rai, Gillian; Murray, Tammy; Brusilovskiy, Eugene
The purpose of the research was to study changes in handwriting legibility among kindergarten, first- and second-grade students in response to the Size Matters curricular-based handwriting program. A two-group pre-post-test design was implemented at two public schools with half of the classrooms assigned to receive the Size Matters program and the other continuing to receive standard instruction. All participants completed two standardized handwriting measures at pre-test and after 40 instructional sessions were completed with the classes receiving the handwriting program. Results identified significant changes in legibility in the handwriting intervention group for all three grades when compared with the standard instruction group. The results of this study support the use of a curricular-embedded handwriting program and provide the foundation for future research examining the impact of handwriting legibility on learning outcomes.
Al-Ghabra, Iman M. M. Muwafaq
Academic performance is the main concern of educators all over the world. Authentic researchers have studied the importance of handwriting for improving students' performance, and they have proved that using the hand in writing activates many regions in the brain that are related to memory and comprehension. The study aims at displaying the…
Schiegg, Markus; Thorpe, Deborah
Handwritten texts carry significant information, extending beyond the meaning of their words. Modern neurology, for example, benefits from the interpretation of the graphic features of writing and drawing for the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases and disorders. This article examines how handwriting analysis can be used, and has been used historically, as a methodological tool for the assessment of medical conditions and how this enhances our understanding of historical contexts of writing. We analyze handwritten material, writing tests and letters, from patients in an early 20th-century psychiatric hospital in southern Germany (Irsee/Kaufbeuren). In this institution, early psychiatrists assessed handwriting features, providing us novel insights into the earliest practices of psychiatric handwriting analysis, which can be connected to Berkenkotter’s research on medical admission records. We finally consider the degree to which historical handwriting bears semiotic potential to explain the psychological state and personality of a writer, and how future research in written communication should approach these sources. PMID:28408774
Voogd, Jan; Schraa-Tam, Caroline K L; van der Geest, Jos N; De Zeeuw, Chris I
In this paper, we will review the anatomical components of the visuomotor cerebellum in human and, where possible, in non-human primates and discuss their function in relation to those of extracerebellar visuomotor regions with which they are connected. The floccular lobe, the dorsal paraflocculus, the oculomotor vermis, the uvula-nodulus, and the ansiform lobule are more or less independent components of the visuomotor cerebellum that are involved in different corticocerebellar and/or brain stem olivocerebellar loops. The floccular lobe and the oculomotor vermis share different mossy fiber inputs from the brain stem; the dorsal paraflocculus and the ansiform lobule receive corticopontine mossy fibers from postrolandic visual areas and the frontal eye fields, respectively. Of the visuomotor functions of the cerebellum, the vestibulo-ocular reflex is controlled by the floccular lobe; saccadic eye movements are controlled by the oculomotor vermis and ansiform lobule, while control of smooth pursuit involves all these cerebellar visuomotor regions. Functional imaging studies in humans further emphasize cerebellar involvement in visual reflexive eye movements and are discussed.
This book provides an algorithmic perspective on the recent development of Chinese handwriting recognition. Two technically sound strategies, the segmentation-free and integrated segmentation-recognition strategy, are investigated and algorithms that have worked well in practice are primarily focused on. Baseline systems are initially presented for these strategies and are subsequently expanded on and incrementally improved. The sophisticated algorithms covered include: 1) string sample expansion algorithms which synthesize string samples from isolated characters or distort realistic string samples; 2) enhanced feature representation algorithms, e.g. enhanced four-plane features and Delta features; 3) novel learning algorithms, such as Perceptron learning with dynamic margin, MPE training and distributed training; and lastly 4) ensemble algorithms, that is, combining the two strategies using both parallel structure and serial structure. All the while, the book moves from basic to advanced algorithms, helping ...
Potgieser, Adriaan R. E.; de Jong, Bauke M.
Estimating size and distance is crucial in effective visuomotor control. The concept of an internal coordinate system implies that visual and motor size parameters are scaled onto a common template. To dissociate perceptual and motor components in such scaling, we performed an fMRI experiment in
Sharp, Laurie; Brown, Tiffany
Handwriting is an essential skill for learners, but advancements with technology have greatly altered perceptions towards handwriting and handwriting instruction. This study sought to determine the current state of handwriting through an exploratory analysis of the teaching experiences of three practicing elementary teachers with varying…
Stievano, Paolo; Michetti, Silvia; McClintock, Shawn M.; Levi, Gabriel; Scalisi, Teresa Gloria
Handwriting is a complex activity that involves continuous interaction between lowerlevel perceptual-motor and higher-level cognitive processes. All handwriting models describe involvement of executive functions (EF) in handwriting development. Particular EF domains associated with handwriting include maintenance of information in working memory,…
Medwell, Jane; Wray, David
Evidence is accumulating that handwriting has an important role in written composition. In particular, handwriting automaticity appears to relate to success in composition. This relationship has been little explored in British contexts and we currently have little idea of what threshold performance levels might be. In this paper, we report on two…
Jasper, Isabelle; Gordijn, Marijke; Häussler, Andreas; Hermsdörfer, Joachim
The aim of the present study was to analyze the circadian rhythmicity in handwriting kinematics and legibility and to compare the performance between Dutch and German writers. Two subject groups underwent a 40 h sleep deprivation protocol under Constant Routine conditions either in Groningen (10 Dutch subjects) or in Berlin (9 German subjects). Both groups wrote every 3h a test sentence of similar structure in their native language. Kinematic handwriting performance was assessed with a digitizing tablet and evaluated by writing speed, writing fluency, and script size. Writing speed (frequency of strokes and average velocity) revealed a clear circadian rhythm, with a parallel decline during night and a minimum around 3:00 h in the morning for both groups. Script size and movement fluency did not vary with time of day in neither group. Legibility of handwriting was evaluated by intra-individually ranking handwriting specimens of the 13 sessions by 10 German and 10 Dutch raters. Whereas legibility ratings of the German handwriting specimens deteriorated during night in parallel with slower writing speed, legibility of the Dutch handwriting deteriorated not until the next morning. In conclusion, the circadian rhythm of handwriting kinematics seems to be independent of script language at least among the two tested western countries. Moreover, handwriting legibility is also subject to a circadian rhythm which, however, seems to be influenced by variations in the assessment protocol. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
The purpose of this study is to examine the first grade teachers' practices of handwriting instructions in terms of teaching, evaluation and handwriting difficulties. From qualitative research patterns, phenomenology was used. The study was applied to the 54 First grade teachers who work at central Burdur and Burdur county centre primary education…
Bloesch, Emily K.; Abrams, Richard A.
Action integration is the process through which actions performed on a stimulus and perceptual aspects of the stimulus become bound as a unitary object. This process appears to be controlled by the dopaminergic system in the prefrontal cortex, an area that is known to decrease in volume and dopamine functioning in older adults. Although the…
Mohamed Aymen Slim; Afef Abdelkrim; Mohamed Benrejeb
The handwriting is a physical demonstration of a complex cognitive process learnt by man since his childhood. People with disabilities or suffering from various neurological diseases are facing so many difficulties resulting from problems located at the muscle stimuli (EMG) or signals from the brain (EEG) and which arise at the stage of writing. The handwriting velocity of the same writer or different writers varies according to different criteria: age, attitude, mood, wr...
Danna, Jérémy; Velay, Jean-Luc
The mastering of handwriting is so essential in our society that it is important to try to find new methods for facilitating its learning and rehabilitation. The ability to control the graphic movements clearly impacts on the quality of the writing. This control allows both the programming of letter formation before movement execution and the online adjustments during execution, thanks to diverse sensory feedback (FB). New technologies improve existing techniques or enable new methods to supply the writer with real-time computer-assisted FB. The possibilities are numerous and various. Therefore, two main questions arise: (1) What aspect of the movement is concerned and (2) How can we best inform the writer to help them correct their handwriting? In a first step, we report studies on FB naturally used by the writer. The purpose is to determine which information is carried by each sensory modality, how it is used in handwriting control and how this control changes with practice and learning. In a second step, we report studies on supplementary FB provided to the writer to help them to better control and learn how to write. We suggest that, depending on their contents, certain sensory modalities will be more appropriate than others to assist handwriting motor control. We emphasize particularly the relevance of auditory modality as online supplementary FB on handwriting movements. Using real-time supplementary FB to assist in the handwriting process is probably destined for a brilliant future with the growing availability and rapid development of tablets. PMID:25750633
Full Text Available During visuomotor adaptation a novel mapping between visual targets and motor commands is gradually acquired. How muscle activation patterns are affected by this process is an open question. We tested whether the structure of muscle synergies is preserved during adaptation to a visuomotor rotation. Eight subjects applied targeted isometric forces on a handle instrumented with a force transducer while electromyographic (EMG activity was recorded from 13 shoulder and elbow muscles. The recorded forces were mapped into horizontal displacements of a virtual sphere with simulated mass, elasticity, and damping. The task consisted of moving the sphere to a target at one of eight equally spaced directions. Subjects performed three baseline blocks of 32 trials, followed by six blocks with a 45° CW rotation applied to the planar force, and finally three wash-out blocks without the perturbation. The sphere position at 100 ms after movement onset revealed significant directional error at the beginning of the rotation, a gradual learning in subsequent blocks, and aftereffects at the beginning of the wash-out. The change in initial force direction was closely related to the change in directional tuning of the initial EMG activity of most muscles. Throughout the experiment muscle synergies extracted using a non-negative matrix factorization algorithm from the muscle patterns recorded during the baseline blocks could reconstruct the muscle patterns of all other blocks with an accuracy significantly higher than chance indicating structural robustness. In addition, the synergies extracted from individual blocks remained similar to the baseline synergies throughout the experiment. Thus synergy structure is robust during visuomotor adaptation suggesting that changes in muscle patterns are obtained by rotating the directional tuning of the synergy recruitment.
Sergey Dmitrievich Kulik; Konstantin Igorevich Tkachenko; Denis Arturovich Nikonets
This article deals with the special means, which allow to protect the information in the document. They are an integral part of the automated tools of ensuring the information security. It is proposed the use of a special input device PC Notes Taker. The results of experimental verification of the effectiveness of forensic handwriting techniques are described.
Sergey Dmitrievich Kulik
Full Text Available This article deals with the special means, which allow to protect the information in the document. They are an integral part of the automated tools of ensuring the information security. It is proposed the use of a special input device PC Notes Taker. The results of experimental verification of the effectiveness of forensic handwriting techniques are described.
Grandidier, F.; Sabourin, R.; Suen, C.Y.; Gilloux, M.
In this paper we introduce a new strategy for improving a discrete HMMbased handwriting recognition system, by integrating several information sources from specialized feature sets. For a given system, the basic idea is to keep the most discriminative features, and to replace the others with new
van Drempt, Nadege; McCluskey, Annie; Lannin, Natasha A
Handwriting is an important activity that is commonly affected by neurological and orthopaedic conditions. Handwriting research has predominantly involved children. Little is known about handwriting behaviour in healthy older adults. This study aims to describe the handwriting practices of 30 unimpaired adults aged 65 years and over. In this cross-sectional observational study, data were collected from 30 older adults using a self-report questionnaire, digital pen recordings over three days and a handwriting log. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. The mean age of participants was 75.1 years (standard deviation=6.9). Variations in handwriting were evident in letter size, slant and spacing. Participants wrote very little--a median of 18 words per occasion (interquartile range=10.5-26.9 words). Most handwriting involved self-generated text (85%), not copied or transcribed text. Participants stood while writing for 17% of handwriting occasions. The most common reasons for handwriting were note taking (23%) and puzzles (22%). Legibility may not depend exclusively on the handwriting script that a beginning writer is taught, but may be a result of other factors as the person ages. A comprehensive adult handwriting assessment and retraining programme should be relevant to older adults, including common handwriting activities, involving self-generated text and few words. © 2011 The Authors. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal © 2011 Occupational Therapy Australia.
Medwell, Jane; Strand, Steve; Wray, David
Although handwriting is often considered a matter of presentation, a substantial body of international research suggests that the role of handwriting in children's composing has been neglected. Automaticity in handwriting is now seen as of key importance in composing but this proposition is relatively untested in the UK and the assumption has been…
Potgieser, Adriaan R E; de Jong, Bauke M
Estimating size and distance is crucial in effective visuomotor control. The concept of an internal coordinate system implies that visual and motor size parameters are scaled onto a common template. To dissociate perceptual and motor components in such scaling, we performed an fMRI experiment in which 16 right-handed subjects copied geometric figures while the result of drawing remained out of sight. Either the size of the example figure varied while maintaining a constant size of drawing (visual incongruity) or the size of the examples remained constant while subjects were instructed to make changes in size (motor incongruity). These incongruent were compared to congruent conditions. Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM8) revealed brain activations related to size incongruity in the dorsolateral prefrontal and inferior parietal cortex, pre-SMA / anterior cingulate and anterior insula, dominant in the right hemisphere. This pattern represented simultaneous use of a 'resized' virtual template and actual picture information requiring spatial working memory, early-stage attention shifting and inhibitory control. Activations were strongest in motor incongruity while right pre-dorsal premotor activation specifically occurred in this condition. Visual incongruity additionally relied on a ventral visual pathway. Left ventral premotor activation occurred in all variably sized drawing while constant visuomotor size, compared to congruent size variation, uniquely activated the lateral occipital cortex additional to superior parietal regions. These results highlight size as a fundamental parameter in both general hand movement and movement guided by objects perceived in the context of surrounding 3D space.
Adriaan R E Potgieser
Full Text Available Estimating size and distance is crucial in effective visuomotor control. The concept of an internal coordinate system implies that visual and motor size parameters are scaled onto a common template. To dissociate perceptual and motor components in such scaling, we performed an fMRI experiment in which 16 right-handed subjects copied geometric figures while the result of drawing remained out of sight. Either the size of the example figure varied while maintaining a constant size of drawing (visual incongruity or the size of the examples remained constant while subjects were instructed to make changes in size (motor incongruity. These incongruent were compared to congruent conditions. Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM8 revealed brain activations related to size incongruity in the dorsolateral prefrontal and inferior parietal cortex, pre-SMA / anterior cingulate and anterior insula, dominant in the right hemisphere. This pattern represented simultaneous use of a 'resized' virtual template and actual picture information requiring spatial working memory, early-stage attention shifting and inhibitory control. Activations were strongest in motor incongruity while right pre-dorsal premotor activation specifically occurred in this condition. Visual incongruity additionally relied on a ventral visual pathway. Left ventral premotor activation occurred in all variably sized drawing while constant visuomotor size, compared to congruent size variation, uniquely activated the lateral occipital cortex additional to superior parietal regions. These results highlight size as a fundamental parameter in both general hand movement and movement guided by objects perceived in the context of surrounding 3D space.
Full Text Available Handwriting is an important modality for Human-Computer Interaction. For medical professionals, handwriting is (still the preferred natural method of documentation. Handwriting recognition has long been a primary research area in Computer Science. With the tremendous ubiquity of smartphones, along with the renaissance of the stylus, handwriting recognition has become a new impetus. However, recognition rates are still not 100% perfect, and researchers still are constantly improving handwriting algorithms. In this paper we evaluate the performance of entropy based slant- and skew-correction, and compare the results to other methods. We selected 3700 words of 23 writers out of the Unipen-ICROW-03 benchmark set, which we annotated with their associated error angles by hand. Our results show that the entropy-based slant correction method outperforms a window based approach with an average precision of 6:02 for the entropy-based method, compared with the 7:85 for the alternative. On the other hand, the entropy-based skew correction yields a lower average precision of 2:86, compared with the average precision of 2:13 for the alternative LSM based approach.
Valery I Rupasov
Full Text Available We examined time-dependent statistical properties of electromyographic (EMG signals recorded from intrinsic hand muscles during handwriting. Our analysis showed that trial-to-trial neuronal variability of EMG signals is well described by the lognormal distribution clearly distinguished from the Gaussian (normal distribution. This finding indicates that EMG formation cannot be described by a conventional model where the signal is normally distributed because it is composed by summation of many random sources. We found that the variability of temporal parameters of handwriting--handwriting duration and response time--is also well described by a lognormal distribution. Although, the exact mechanism of lognormal statistics remains an open question, the results obtained should significantly impact experimental research, theoretical modeling and bioengineering applications of motor networks. In particular, our results suggest that accounting for lognormal distribution of EMGs can improve biomimetic systems that strive to reproduce EMG signals in artificial actuators.
Al-Hadhrami, Ahmed A N; Allen, Mike; Moffatt, Colin; Jones, Allison E
From each of four Arabic countries; Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and Oman, 150 participants produced handwriting samples which were examined to assess whether national characteristics were discernible. Ten characters, which have different configurations depending upon their position in the word, along with one short word, were classified into distinguishable forms, and these forms recorded for each handwriting sample. Tests of independence showed that character forms used were not independent of country (phandwriting samples that underwent 'blind' classification. When the countries were combined into two regions, North Africa and Middle East, the grouping was more marked. Thus, there appears to be some scope for narrowing down the nationality, and particularly the wider geographical region of an author based upon the character forms they use in Arabic handwriting. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Shi, Cao; Xiao, Jianguo; Xu, Canhui; Jia, Wenhua
A framework is proposed in this paper to effectively and efficiently beautify handwriting by means of a novel nonlinear and non-Gaussian Bayesian algorithm. In the proposed framework, format and size of handwriting image are firstly normalized, and then typeface in computer system is applied to optimize vision effect of handwriting. The Bayesian statistics is exploited to characterize the handwriting beautification process as a Bayesian dynamic model. The model parameters to translate, rotate and scale typeface in computer system are controlled by state equation, and the matching optimization between handwriting and transformed typeface is employed by measurement equation. Finally, the new typeface, which is transformed from the original one and gains the best nonlinear and non-Gaussian optimization, is the beautification result of handwriting. Experimental results demonstrate the proposed framework provides a creative handwriting beautification methodology to improve visual acceptance.
Im, Hee Yeon; Bédard, Patrick; Song, Joo-Hyun
Using a dual-task paradigm, we recently reported that visuomotor adaptation acquired under distraction of a secondary attention-demanding discrimination task could be remembered only when a similar distraction was present. In contrast, when tested without the distracting task, performance reverted to untrained levels (Song & Bédard, 2015). Here, we demonstrated that this newfound paradoxical benefits of consistent dual-task context lasts over one day, such that visuomotor memory retrieval is ...
Hülsdünker, Thorben; Strüder, Heiko K; Mierau, Andreas
Elite/skilled athletes participating in sports that require the initiation of targeted movements in response to visual cues under critical time pressure typically outperform nonathletes in a visuomotor reaction task. However, the exact physiological mechanisms of this advantage remain unclear. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the neurophysiological processes contributing to superior visuomotor performance in athletes using visual evoked potential (VEP). Central and peripheral determinants of visuomotor reaction time were investigated in 15 skilled badminton players and 28 age-matched nonathletic controls. To determine the speed of visual signal perception in the cortex, chromatic and achromatic pattern reversal stimuli were presented, and VEP values were recorded with a 64-channel EEG system. Further, a simple visuomotor reaction task was performed to investigate the transformation of the visual into a motor signal in the brain as well as the timing of muscular activation. Amplitude and latency of VEP (N75, P100, and N145) revealed that the athletes did not significantly differ from the nonathletes. However, visuomotor reaction time was significantly reduced in the athletes compared with nonathletes (athletes = 234.9 ms, nonathletes = 260.3 ms, P = 0.015). This was accompanied by an earlier activation of the premotor and supplementary motor areas (athletes = 163.9 ms, nonathletes = 199.1 ms, P = 0.015) as well as an earlier EMG onset (athletes = 167.5 ms, nonathletes = 206.5 ms, P < 0.001). The latency of premotor and supplementary motor area activation was correlated with EMG onset (r = 0.41) and visuomotor reaction time (r = 0.43). The results of this study indicate that superior visuomotor performance in athletes originates from faster visuomotor transformation in the premotor and supplementary motor cortical regions rather than from earlier perception of visual signals in the visual cortex.
Jasper, Isabelle; Gordijn, Marijke; Haeussler, Andreas; Hermsdoerfer, Joachim
The aim of the present study was to analyze the circadian rhythmicity in handwriting kinematics and legibility and to compare the performance between Dutch and German writers. Two subject groups underwent a 40 h sleep deprivation protocol under Constant Routine conditions either in Groningen (10
Teulings, H L; Schomaker, L R
A handwriting pattern is considered as a sequence of ballistic strokes. Replications of a pattern may be generated from a single, higher-level memory representation, acting as a motor program. Therefore, those stroke features which show the most invariant pattern are probably related to the
Zylstra, Sheryl Eckberg; Pfeiffer, Beth
We examined the effectiveness of an occupational therapist-led handwriting intervention for special education and at-risk kindergarteners. We incorporated a two-group, pretest-posttest design. Both groups consisted of kindergarteners receiving individualized education program (IEP) or Response to Intervention (RtI) support. An occupational therapist provided biweekly group handwriting instruction using the Size Matters Handwriting Program to students in the intervention group (n = 23). The control group (n = 12) received the standard handwriting instruction. Students in the intervention group demonstrated significantly greater gains in handwriting legibility than students in the control group. Students in the intervention group also demonstrated significantly greater gains in the prereading skills of uppercase letter recognition, lowercase letter recognition, and letter sound recognition. This study provides preliminary support for an occupational therapist-led handwriting intervention to improve writing legibility and letter recognition in kindergarteners receiving RtI and IEP supports. Copyright © 2016 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
Haberfehlner, Helga; Visser, Bart; Daffertshofer, Andreas; van Rossum, Marion Aj; Roorda, Leo D; van der Leeden, Marike; Dekker, Joost; Hoeksma, Agnes F
The aim of the present study was to describe handwriting difficulties of primary school children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), and to investigate possible correlations with hand function and writing performance. In a cross-sectional approach, 15 children with JIA and reported handwriting difficulties were included together with 15 healthy matched controls. Impairments (signs of arthritis or tenosynovitis, reduced grip force and limited range of motion of the wrist (wrist-ROM)), activity limitations (reduced quality and speed of handwriting, pain during handwriting), and participation restrictions (perceived handwriting difficulties at school) were assessed and analysed. Although selected by the presence of handwriting difficulties, the majority of the JIA children (73%) had no active arthritis of the writing hand, and only minor hand impairments were found. Overall, the JIA children performed well during the short handwriting test, but the number of letters they wrote per minute decreased significantly during the 5-minute test, compared to the healthy controls. JIA patients had significantly higher pain scores on a 100 mm Visual Analogue Scale, compared to the healthy controls. The actual presence of arthritis, and limitation in grip force and wrist-ROM did not correlate with reported participation restrictions with regard to handwriting at school. The JIA children reported pain during handwriting, and inability to sustain handwriting for a longer period of time. The results of this pilot study show that JIA children with handwriting difficulties, experience their restrictions mainly through pain and the inability to sustain handwriting for a longer period of time. No correlations could be found with impairments.
Cheng-Lai, Alice; Li-Tsang, Cecilia W P; Chan, Alan H L; Lo, Amy G W
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between writing to dictation, handwriting, orthographic, and perceptual-motor skills among Chinese children with dyslexia. A cross-sectional design was used. A total of 45 third graders with dyslexia were assessed. Results of stepwise multiple regression models showed that Chinese character naming was the only predictor associated with word dictation (β=.32); handwriting speed was related to deficits in rapid automatic naming (β=-.36) and saccadic efficiency (β=-.29), and visual-motor integration predicted both of the number of characters exceeded grid (β=-.41) and variability of character size (β=-.38). The findings provided support to a multi-stage working memory model of writing for explaining the possible underlying mechanism of writing to dictation and handwriting difficulties. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
van Drempt, Nadege; McCluskey, Annie; Lannin, Natasha A
Handwriting is an important activity for people of all ages. Handwriting is frequently affected after stroke and other neurological conditions. However, research on the handwriting of healthy adults is difficult to find. This review aims to advance the development of evidence-informed handwriting assessment and retraining. The aim of this paper was to review factors that influence the handwriting performance of unimpaired adults, some of which are amenable to intervention. Searches were conducted of eight electronic databases up to April 2009 and again in November 2010. Reference lists were also used to identify potential studies of interest. No limits were placed on study design. Age: Younger adults write more legibly and faster than older adults. Gender: Women write faster and more legibly than men. Pengrip: Grips other than the traditional dynamic tripod are functional, producing legible text in an acceptable time. Pen pressure: Pressure varies with different letters, words, text size, speed and across a page of text. Error corrections and a mixed writing style occur in healthy adult handwriting. Research was inconclusive about the association between speed, pressure and upper limb movements on handwriting performance. Other factors able to predict adult handwriting legibility have been largely unexplored. A number of knowledge and research gaps about adult handwriting were identified, including the need for more contemporary normative data. © 2011 The Authors. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal © 2011 Occupational Therapy Australia.
Alfonso Uresti-Cabrera, Luis; Vaca-Palomares, Israel; Diaz, Rosalinda; Beltran-Parrazal, Luis; Fernandez-Ruiz, Juan
There are different kinds of visuomotor learnings. One of the most studied is error-based learning where the information about the sign and magnitude of the error is used to update the motor commands. However, there are other instances where subjects show visuomotor learning even if the use of error sign and magnitude information is precluded. In those instances subjects could be using strategic instead of procedural adaptation mechanisms. Here, we present the results of the effect of aging on visuomotor strategic learning under a reversed error feedback condition, and its contrast with procedural visuomotor learning within the same participants. A number of measures were obtained from a task consisting of throwing clay balls to a target before, during and after wearing lateral displacing or reversing prisms. The displacing prism results show an age dependent decrease on the learning rate that corroborates previous findings. The reversing prism results also show significant adaptation impairment in the aged population. However, decreased reversing learning in the older group was the result of an increase in the number of subjects that could not adapt to the reversing prism, and not on a reduction of the learning capacity of all the individuals of the group. These results suggest a significant deleterious effect of aging on visuomotor strategic learning implementation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Maria Esposito,1 Beatrice Gallai,2 Lucia Parisi,3 Michele Roccella,3 Rosa Marotta,4 Serena Marianna Lavano,4 Giovanni Mazzotta,5 Giuseppina Patriciello,1 Francesco Precenzano,1 Marco Carotenuto1 1Clinic of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, Department of Mental Health, Physical and Preventive Medicine, Second University of Naples, Italy; 2Unit of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, University of Perugia, Italy; 3Child Neuropsychiatry, Department of Psychology, University of Palermo, Italy; 4Department of Psychiatry, "Magna Graecia" University of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy; 5Unit of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, AUSL Umbria 2, Terni, Italy Background: Primary monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis (PMNE is a common problem in the developmental ages; it is the involuntary loss of urine during the night in children older than 5 years of age. Several clinical observations have suggested an association between bedwetting and developmental delays in motricity, language development, learning disability, physical growth, and skeletal maturation. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the prevalence of fine motor coordination and visuomotor integration abnormalities in prepubertal children with PMNE. Methods: The study population included 31 children (16 males, 15 females; mean age 8.14 years ± 1.36 years, and the control group comprised 61 typical developing children (32 males, 29 females; mean age 8.03 years ± 1.44 years. The whole population underwent a clinical evaluation to assess total intelligence quotient level, visuomotor integration (VMI skills, and motor coordination performance (using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children, or M-ABC. Results: No significant differences between the two study groups were found for age (P = 0.725, gender (P = 0.886, z-body mass index (P = 0.149, or intellectual abilities (total intelligence quotient (P = 0.163. The PMNE group showed a higher prevalence of borderline performance on M
Papadelis, Christos; Arfeller, Carola; Erla, Silvia; Nollo, Giandomenico; Cattaneo, Luigi; Braun, Christoph
Coordination between vision and action relies on a fronto-parietal network that receives visual and proprioceptive sensory input in order to compute motor control signals. Here, we investigated with magnetoencephalography (MEG) which cortical areas are functionally coupled on the basis of synchronization during visuomotor integration. MEG signals were recorded from twelve healthy adults while performing a unimanual visuomotor (VM) task and control conditions. The VM task required the integration of pinch motor commands with visual sensory feedback. By using a beamformer, we localized the neural activity in the frequency range of 1-30Hz during the VM compared to rest. Virtual sensors were estimated at the active locations. A multivariate autoregressive model was used to estimate the power and coherence of estimated activity at the virtual sensors. Event-related desynchronisation (ERD) during VM was observed in early visual areas, the rostral part of the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), the right IFG, the superior parietal lobules, and the left hand motor cortex (M1). Functional coupling in the alpha frequency band bridged the regional activities observed in motor and visual cortices (the start and the end points in the visuomotor loop) through the left or right IFG. Coherence between the left IFG and left M1 correlated inversely with the task performance. Our results indicate that an occipital-prefrontal-motor functional network facilitates the modulation of instructed motor responses to visual cues. This network may supplement the mechanism for guiding actions that is fully incorporated into the dorsal visual stream. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Maria V Sanchez-Vives
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Our body schema gives the subjective impression of being highly stable. However, a number of easily-evoked illusions illustrate its remarkable malleability. In the rubber-hand illusion, illusory ownership of a rubber-hand is evoked by synchronous visual and tactile stimulation on a visible rubber arm and on the hidden real arm. Ownership is concurrent with a proprioceptive illusion of displacement of the arm position towards the fake arm. We have previously shown that this illusion of ownership plus the proprioceptive displacement also occurs towards a virtual 3D projection of an arm when the appropriate synchronous visuotactile stimulation is provided. Our objective here was to explore whether these illusions (ownership and proprioceptive displacement can be induced by only synchronous visuomotor stimulation, in the absence of tactile stimulation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To achieve this we used a data-glove that uses sensors transmitting the positions of fingers to a virtually projected hand in the synchronous but not in the asynchronous condition. The illusion of ownership was measured by means of questionnaires. Questions related to ownership gave significantly larger values for the synchronous than for the asynchronous condition. Proprioceptive displacement provided an objective measure of the illusion and had a median value of 3.5 cm difference between the synchronous and asynchronous conditions. In addition, the correlation between the feeling of ownership of the virtual arm and the size of the drift was significant. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We conclude that synchrony between visual and proprioceptive information along with motor activity is able to induce an illusion of ownership over a virtual arm. This has implications regarding the brain mechanisms underlying body ownership as well as the use of virtual bodies in therapies and rehabilitation.
Full Text Available To move real objects, our hand needs to get in direct physical contact with the object. However, this is not necessarily the case when interacting with virtual objects, for example when displacing objects on tablets by swipe movements. Here, we performed two experiments to study the behavioral strategies of these movements, examining how visual information about the virtual object is mapped into a swipe that moves the object into a goal location. In the first experiment, we investigated how swiping behavior depends on whether objects were located within or outside the swiping workspace. Results show that participants do not start the swipe movement by placing their finger on the virtual object, as they do when reaching to real objects, but rather keep a systematic distance between the object location and the initial swipe location. This mismatch, which was experimentally imposed by placing the object outside the workspace, also occurred when the object was within the workspace. In the second experiment, we investigated which factors determine this mismatch by systematically manipulating the initial hand location, the location of the object and the location of the goal. Dimensionality reduction of the data showed that three factors are taken into account when participants choose the initial swipe location: the expected total movement distance, the distance between their finger on the screen and the object, and a preference not to cover the object. The weight given to each factor differed among individuals. These results delineate, for the first time, the flexibility of visuomotor associations in the virtual world.
Full Text Available The generation of handwriting is a complex neuromotor skill requiring the interaction of many cognitive processes. It aims at producing a message to be imprinted as an ink trace left on a writing medium. The generated trajectory of the pen tip is made up of strokes superimposed over time. The Kinematic Theory of rapid human movements and its family of lognormal models provide analytical representations of these strokes, often considered as the basic unit of handwriting. This paradigm has not only been experimentally confirmed in numerous predictive and physiologically significant tests but it has also been shown to be the ideal mathematical description for the impulse response of a neuromuscular system. This latter demonstration suggests that the lognormality of the velocity patterns can be interpreted as reflecting the behaviour of subjects who are in perfect control of their movements. To illustrate this interpretation, we present a short overview of the main concepts behind the Kinematic Theory and briefly describe how its models can be exploited, using various software tools, to investigate these ideal lognormal behaviors. We emphasize that the parameters extracted during various tasks can be used to analyze some underlying processes associated with their realization. To investigate the operational convergence hypothesis, we report on two original studies. First, we focus on the early steps of the motor learning process as seen as a converging behaviour toward the production of more precise lognormal patterns as young children practicing handwriting start to become more fluent writers. Second, we illustrate how aging affects handwriting by pointing out the increasing departure from the ideal lognormal behaviour as the control of the fine motricity begins to decline. Overall, the paper highlights this developmental process of merging toward a lognormal behaviour with learning, mastering this behaviour to succeed in performing a given task
Full Text Available Background: Unilateral limb movements are based on the activation of contralateral primary motor cortex and the bilateral activation of premotor cortices. Performance of a visuomotor task requires a visuomotor integration between motor and visual cortical areas. The functional integration (»binding« of different brain areas, is probably mediated by the synchronous neuronal oscillatory activity, which can be determined by electroencephalographic (EEG coherence analysis. We introduced a new method of coherence analysis and compared coherence and power spectra in the left and right hemisphere for the right vs. left hand visuomotor task, hypothesizing that the increase in coherence and decrease in power spectra while performing the task would be greater in the contralateral hemisphere.Methods: We analyzed 6 healthy subjects and recorded their electroencephalogram during visuomotor task with the right or the left hand. For data analysis, a special Matlab computer programme was designed. The results were statistically analysed by a two-way analysis of variance, one-way analysis of variance and post-hoc t-tests with Bonferroni correction.Results: We demonstrated a significant increase in coherence (p < 0.05 for the visuomotor task compared to control tasks in alpha (8–13 Hz in beta 1 (13–20 Hz frequency bands between visual and motor electrodes. There were no significant differences in coherence nor power spectra depending on the hand used. The changes of coherence and power spectra between both hemispheres were symmetrical.Conclusions: In previous studies, a specific increase of coherence and decrease of power spectra for the visuomotor task was found, but we found no conclusive asymmetries when performing the task with right vs. left hand. This could be explained in a way that increases in coherence and decreases of power spectra reflect symmetrical activation and cooperation between more complex visual and motor brain areas.
Dirie, Mohamed Farah
Concern over the poor and illegible handwriting of the students in Somalia led to the development of this handwriting manual for primary school teachers to: (1) give teachers guidance in teaching handwriting; (2) help teachers in the methodology of teaching handwriting; (3) let teachers know the easier ways of making cheap and obtainable materials…
Lam, Sutie S. T.; Au, Ricky K. C.; Leung, Howard W. H.; Li-Tsang, Cecilia W. P.
The aim of this study was to investigate the Chinese handwriting performance of typical children and children with dyslexia, and to examine whether speed and accuracy of handwriting could reliably discriminate these two groups of children. One hundred and thirty-seven children with dyslexia and 756 typical children were recruited from main stream…
Van Waelvelde, Hilde; Hellinckx, Tinneke; Peersman, Wim; Smits-Engelsman, Bouwien C. M.
Poor handwriting has been shown to be associated with developmental disorders such as Developmental Coordination Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, autism, and learning disorders. Handwriting difficulties could lead to academic underachievement and poor self-esteem. Therapeutic intervention has been shown to be effective in…
Educators and experts say students still need to learn penmanship, even in a digital age. Handwriting still has a place in the digital age, its proponents say, and they hoped that what they billed as a "summit" on the subject at a conference would spotlight their case for the enduring value of handwriting in the learning process. The Washington…
Haberfehlner, Helga; Visser, Bart; Daffertshofer, Andreas; van Rossum, Marion Aj; Roorda, Leo D.; van der Leeden, Marike; Dekker, Joost; Hoeksma, Agnes F.
The aim of the present study was to describe handwriting difficulties of primary school children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), and to investigate possible correlations with hand function and writing performance. In a cross-sectional approach, 15 children with JIA and reported handwriting
Lallican, P.; Viard-Gaudin, C.; Knerr, S.
On-line handwriting includes more information on time order of the writing signal and on the dynamics of the writing process than off-line handwriting. Therefore, on-line recognition systems achieve higher recognition rates. This can be concluded from results reported in the literature, and has been
McCarney, Debra; Peters, Lynne; Jackson, Sarah; Thomas, Marie; Kirby, Amanda
Handwriting is a complex skill that, despite increasing use of computers, still plays a vital role in education. It is assumed that children will master letter formation at a relatively early stage in their school life, with handwriting fluency developing steadily until automaticity is attained. The capacity theory of writing suggests that as…
Gafoor, K. Abdul; Naseer, A. R.
With a view to support instruction, formative and summative assessment and to provide model handwriting performance for students to compare their own performance, a Malayalam handwriting scale is developed. Data from 2640 school students belonging to Malappuram, Palakkad and Kozhikode districts, sampled by taking 240 students per each grade…
Cahill, Susan M.
In today's environment of high-stakes testing, handwriting is a skill that is often overlooked in order to focus on other areas of the curriculum. However, research indicates that handwriting is tied to academic achievement, especially composition and literacy skills. This article provides strategies that can be used to support students with…
Rosenblum, S.; Roman, H. E.
We analyze handwriting records from several school children with the aim of characterizing the fluctuating behavior of the writing speed. It will be concluded that remarkable differences exist between proficient and dysgraphic handwritings which were unknown so far. It is shown that in the case of proficient handwriting, the variations in handwriting speed are strongly autocorrelated within times corresponding to the completion of a single character or letter, while become uncorrelated at longer times. In the case of dysgraphia, such correlations persist on longer time scales and the autocorrelation function seems to display algebraic time decay, indicating the presence of strong anomalies in the handwriting process. Applications of the results in educational/clinical programs are envisaged.
Falk, Tiago H; Tam, Cynthia; Schellnus, Heidi; Chau, Tom
Standardized writing assessments such as the Minnesota Handwriting Assessment (MHA) can inform interventions for handwriting difficulties, which are prevalent among school-aged children. However, these tests usually involve the laborious task of subjectively rating the legibility of the written product, precluding their practical use in some clinical and educational settings. This study describes a portable computer-based handwriting assessment tool to objectively measure MHA quality scores and to detect handwriting difficulties in children. Several measures are proposed based on spatial, temporal, and grip force measurements obtained from a custom-built handwriting instrument. Thirty-five first and second grade students participated in the study, nine of whom exhibited handwriting difficulties. Students performed the MHA test and were subjectively scored based on speed and handwriting quality using five primitives: legibility, form, alignment, size, and space. Several spatial parameters are shown to correlate significantly (phandwriting legibility and speed, respectively. Using only size and space parameters, promising discrimination between proficient and non-proficient handwriting can be achieved. Copyright Â© 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Gowen, E.; Bradshaw, C.; Galpin, A.; Lawrence, A.; Poliakoff, E.
Observation of human actions influences the observer's own motor system, termed visuomotor priming, and is believed to be caused by automatic activation of mirror neurons. Evidence suggests that priming effects are larger for biological (human) as opposed to non-biological (object) stimuli and enhanced when viewing stimuli in mirror compared to…
Hülsdünker, Thorben; Strüder, Heiko K; Mierau, Andreas
Athletes participating in ball or racquet sports have to respond to visual stimuli under critical time pressure. Previous studies used visual contrast stimuli to determine visual perception and visuomotor reaction in athletes and nonathletes; however, ball and racquet sports are characterized by motion rather than contrast visual cues. Because visual contrast and motion signals are processed in different cortical regions, this study aimed to determine differences in perception and processing of visual motion between athletes and nonathletes. Twenty-five skilled badminton players and 28 age-matched nonathletic controls participated in this study. Using a 64-channel EEG system, we investigated visual motion perception/processing in the motion-sensitive middle temporal (MT) cortical area in response to radial motion of different velocities. In a simple visuomotor reaction task, visuomotor transformation in Brodmann area 6 (BA6) and BA4 as well as muscular activation (EMG onset) and visuomotor reaction time (VMRT) were investigated. Stimulus- and response-locked potentials were determined to differentiate between perceptual and motor-related processes. As compared with nonathletes, athletes showed earlier EMG onset times (217 vs 178 ms, P < 0.001), accompanied by a faster VMRT (274 vs 243 ms, P < 0.001). Furthermore, athletes showed an earlier stimulus-locked peak activation of MT (200 vs 182 ms, P = 0.002) and BA6 (161 vs 137 ms, P = 0.009). Response-locked peak activation in MT was later in athletes (-7 vs 26 ms, P < 0.001), whereas no group differences were observed in BA6 and BA4. Multiple regression analyses with stimulus- and response-locked cortical potentials predicted EMG onset (r = 0.83) and VMRT (r = 0.77). The athletes' superior visuomotor performance in response to visual motion is primarily related to visual perception and, to a minor degree, to motor-related processes.
Thumwarin, Pitak; Pernwong, Jitawat; Matsuura, Takenobu
This paper proposes an online signature verification method based on the finite impulse response (FIR) system characterizing time-frequency characteristics of dynamic handwriting features. First, the barycenter determined from both the center point of signature and two adjacent pen-point positions in the signing process, instead of one pen-point position, is used to reduce the fluctuation of handwriting motion. In this paper, among the available dynamic handwriting features, motion pressure and area pressure are employed to investigate handwriting behavior. Thus, the stable dynamic handwriting features can be described by the relation of the time-frequency characteristics of the dynamic handwriting features. In this study, the aforesaid relation can be represented by the FIR system with the wavelet coefficients of the dynamic handwriting features as both input and output of the system. The impulse response of the FIR system is used as the individual feature for a particular signature. In short, the signature can be verified by evaluating the difference between the impulse responses of the FIR systems for a reference signature and the signature to be verified. The signature verification experiments in this paper were conducted using the SUBCORPUS MCYT-100 signature database consisting of 5,000 signatures from 100 signers. The proposed method yielded equal error rate (EER) of 3.21% on skilled forgeries.
MacMahon, Clare; Charness, Neil
This study investigated the nature of automaticity in everyday tasks by testing handwriting performance under single and dual-task conditions. Item familiarity and hand dominance were also manipulated to understand both cognitive and motor components of the task. In line with previous literature, performance was superior in an extraneous focus of attention condition compared to two different skill focus conditions. This effect was found only when writing with the dominant hand. In addition, performance was superior for high familiarity compared to low familiarity items. These findings indicate that motor and cognitive familiarity are related to the degree of automaticity of motor skills and can be manipulated to produce different performance outcomes. The findings also imply that the progression of skill acquisition from novel to novice to expert levels can be traced using different dual-task conditions. The separation of motor and cognitive familiarity is a new approach in the handwriting domain, and provides insight into the nature of attentional demands during performance. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Canaveral, Cesar Augusto; Danion, Frédéric; Berrigan, Félix; Bernier, Pierre-Michel
Sensorimotor control requires an accurate estimate of the state of the body. The brain optimizes state estimation by combining sensory signals with predictions of the sensory consequences of motor commands using a forward model. Given that both sensory signals and predictions are uncertain (i.e., noisy), the brain optimally weights the relative reliance on each source of information during adaptation. In support, it is known that uncertainty in the sensory predictions influences the rate and generalization of visuomotor adaptation. We investigated whether uncertainty in the sensory predictions affects the retention of a new visuomotor relationship. This was done by exposing three separate groups to a visuomotor rotation whose mean was common at 15° counterclockwise but whose variance around the mean differed (i.e., SD of 0°, 3.2°, or 4.5°). Retention was assessed by measuring the persistence of the adapted behavior in a no-vision phase. Results revealed that mean reach direction late in adaptation was similar across groups, suggesting it depended mainly on the mean of exposed rotations and was robust to differences in variance. However, retention differed across groups, with higher levels of variance being associated with a more rapid reversion toward nonadapted behavior. A control experiment ruled out the possibility that differences in retention were accounted for by differences in success rates. Exposure to variable rotations may have increased the uncertainty in sensory predictions, making the adapted forward model more labile and susceptible to change or decay. NEW & NOTEWORTHY The brain predicts the sensory consequences of motor commands through a forward model. These predictions are subject to uncertainty. We use visuomotor adaptation and modulate uncertainty in the sensory predictions by manipulating the variance in exposed rotations. Results reveal that variance does not influence the final extent of adaptation but selectively impairs the retention of
Background: It is generally accepted that doctors have illegible handwriting. The writer usually ... the text.2 The following quote stresses the problem with illegible ... to determine which group of health care workers (HCWs) could read the ...
Alaniz, Michele L; Galit, Eleanor; Necesito, Corina Isabel; Rosario, Emily R
To establish hand strength development trends in children with autism and to investigate correlations between grip and pinch strength, components of handwriting, and functional activities in children with and without autism. Fifty-one children were divided into two groups: typically developing children and children on the autism spectrum. Each child completed testing for pinch and grip strength, handwriting legibility, pencil control, and independence in functional activities. The children with autism followed the same strength development trends as the typically developing children. Grip strength correlated with pencil control in both groups and with handwriting legibility in the typically developing children but not in the children with autism. Grip and pinch strength correlated with independence with functional activities in both groups. This study provides evidence that grip and pinch strength are important components in developing pencil control, handwriting legibility, and independence with functional fine motor tasks. Copyright © 2015 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
Zheng, Yefeng; Li, Huiping; Doermann, David
In this paper, we address the problem of the identification of text in noisy document images. We are especially focused on segmenting and identifying between handwriting and machine printed text because: 1) Handwriting in a document often indicates corrections, additions, or other supplemental information that should be treated differently from the main content and 2) the segmentation and recognition techniques requested for machine printed and handwritten text are significantly different. A novel aspect of our approach is that we treat noise as a separate class and model noise based on selected features. Trained Fisher classifiers are used to identify machine printed text and handwriting from noise and we further exploit context to refine the classification. A Markov Random Field-based (MRF) approach is used to model the geometrical structure of the printed text, handwriting, and noise to rectify misclassifications. Experimental results show that our approach is robust and can significantly improve page segmentation in noisy document collections.
Natalie eDe Bruin
Full Text Available This study examined the efficacy of a novel reaching-and-grasping task in determining visuospatial abilities across adulthood. The task required male and female young (18-25 years and older adults (60-82 years to replicate a series of complex models by locating and retrieving the appropriate building blocks from an array. The task allows visuospatial complexity to be manipulated independently from the visuomotor demands. Mental rotation and spatial visualisation abilities were assessed. The results showed that the time taken to complete the tasks increased with increased mental rotation complexity. Patterns of hand use were also influenced by the complexity of the models being constructed with right hand use being greater for the less complex models. In addition, although older adults consistently performed the visuomotor tasks slower than the younger adults, their performance was comparable when expressed as the percent change in task demands. This is suggestive that spatial abilities are preserved in older adults. Given the ecologically validity, the described task is an excellent candidate for investigating (1 developmental, (2 sex-based and (3 pathology-based differences in spatial abilities in the visuomotor domain.
Zanaboni Dina, Carlotta; Bona, Alberto R; Zekaj, Edvin; Servello, Domenico; Porta, Mauro
Tourette's syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder typically defined by multiple motor tics and at least one sound tic, beginning in childhood or in adolescence. Handwriting is one of the most impaired school activities for TS patients because of the presence of tics that hamper learning processes. In this paper, we present a case of handwriting tics in a TS patient highlighting the main features.
Fuentes, Christina T.; Mostofsky, Stewart H.; Bastian, Amy J.
Background: We have previously shown that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have specific handwriting deficits consisting of poor form, and that these deficits are predicted by their motor abilities. It is not known whether the same handwriting impairments persist into adolescence and whether they remain linked to motor deficits. Methods: A case-control study of handwriting samples from adolescents with and without ASD was performed using the Minnesota Handwriting Assessment. Samples were scored on an individual letter basis in 5 categories: legibility, form, alignment, size, and spacing. Subjects were also administered an intelligence test and the Physical and Neurological Examination for Subtle (Motor) Signs (PANESS). Results: We found that adolescents with ASD, like children, show overall worse performance on a handwriting task than do age- and intelligence-matched controls. Also comparable to children, adolescents with ASD showed motor impairments relative to controls. However, adolescents with ASD differ from children in that Perceptual Reasoning Indices were significantly predictive of handwriting performance whereas measures of motor skills were not. Conclusions: Like children with ASD, adolescents with ASD have poor handwriting quality relative to controls. Despite still demonstrating motor impairments, in adolescents perceptual reasoning is the main predictor of handwriting performance, perhaps reflecting subjects' varied abilities to learn strategies to compensate for their motor impairments. GLOSSARY ASD = autism spectrum disorder; DSM-IV = Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition; PANESS = Physical and Neurological Examination for Subtle (Motor) Signs; PRI = Perceptual Reasoning Index; WASI = Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence; WISC = Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children IV. PMID:21079184
Adak, Chandranath; Chaudhuri, Bidyut B.; Blumenstein, Michael
The handwriting of an individual may vary excessively with many factors such as mood, time, space, writing speed, writing medium, utensils etc. Therefore, it becomes more challenging to perform automated writer verification/ identification on a particular set of handwritten patterns (e.g. speedy handwriting) of a person, especially when the system is trained using a different set of writing patterns (e.g. normal/medium speed) of that same person. However, it would be interesting to experiment...
Vielhauer, Claus; Steinmetz, Ralf
In the application domain of electronic commerce, biometric authentication can provide one possible solution for the key management problem. Besides server-based approaches, methods of deriving digital keys directly from biometric measures appear to be advantageous. In this paper, we analyze one of our recently published specific algorithms of this category based on behavioral biometrics of handwriting, the biometric hash. Our interest is to investigate to which degree each of the underlying feature parameters contributes to the overall intrapersonal stability and interpersonal value space. We will briefly discuss related work in feature evaluation and introduce a new methodology based on three components: the intrapersonal scatter (deviation), the interpersonal entropy, and the correlation between both measures. Evaluation of the technique is presented based on two data sets of different size. The method presented will allow determination of effects of parameterization of the biometric system, estimation of value space boundaries, and comparison with other feature selection approaches.
Full Text Available In the application domain of electronic commerce, biometric authentication can provide one possible solution for the key management problem. Besides server-based approaches, methods of deriving digital keys directly from biometric measures appear to be advantageous. In this paper, we analyze one of our recently published specific algorithms of this category based on behavioral biometrics of handwriting, the biometric hash. Our interest is to investigate to which degree each of the underlying feature parameters contributes to the overall intrapersonal stability and interpersonal value space. We will briefly discuss related work in feature evaluation and introduce a new methodology based on three components: the intrapersonal scatter (deviation, the interpersonal entropy, and the correlation between both measures. Evaluation of the technique is presented based on two data sets of different size. The method presented will allow determination of effects of parameterization of the biometric system, estimation of value space boundaries, and comparison with other feature selection approaches.
Tang, Yi; Srihari, Sargur; Srinivasan, Harish
Forensic individualization is the task of associating observed evidence with a specific source. The likelihood ratio (LR) is a quantitative measure that expresses the degree of uncertainty in individualization, where the numerator represents the likelihood that the evidence corresponds to the known and the denominator the likelihood that it does not correspond to the known. Since the number of parameters needed to compute the LR is exponential with the number of feature measurements, a commonly used simplification is the use of likelihoods based on distance (or similarity) given the two alternative hypotheses. This paper proposes an intermediate method which decomposes the LR as the product of two factors, one based on distance and the other on rarity. It was evaluated using a data set of handwriting samples, by determining whether two writing samples were written by the same/different writer(s). The accuracy of the distance and rarity method, as measured by error rates, is significantly better than the distance method.
Brink, Anne O'Leary; Jacobs, Anne Burleigh
This study compared measures of hand sensitivity and handwriting quality in children aged 10 to 12 years identified by their teachers as having nonproficient or proficient handwriting. We hypothesized that children with nonproficient handwriting have decreased kinesthetic sensitivity of the hands and digits. Sixteen subjects without documented motor or cognitive concerns were tested for kinesthetic sensitivity, discriminate tactile awareness, diadochokinesia, stereognosis, and graphesthesia. Eight children were considered to have nonproficient handwriting; 8 had proficient handwriting. Nonparametric Mann-Whitney U tests were used to identify differences between groups on sensory tests. The 2 groups showed a statistically significant difference in handwriting legibility (P = .018). No significant difference was found on tests of kinesthetic sensitivity or other measures of sensation. Children presenting with handwriting difficulty as the only complaint have similar sensitivity in hands and digits as those with proficient handwriting. Failure to detect differences may result from a small sample size.
Full Text Available The article presents the fundamental element of the identity of each nation, which appears to be handwriting. The basic structure of Czech handwriting is explained. The written form is presented as a part of literacy, or more precisely reading literacy. The article refers to the differences of joined-up linear handwriting, according to which handwriting is taught in the Czech Republic.
Downes, Ken; Walker, Laura L; Fletcher, Donald C
To assess whether performance on the Smith-Kettlewell Reading (SKread) test is a reliable predictor of handwriting performance in patients with low vision. Cross-sectional study. Sixty-six patients at their initial low-vision rehabilitation evaluation. The patients completed all components of a routine low-vision appointment including logMAR acuity, performed the SKread test, and performed a handwriting task. Patients were timed while performing each task and their accuracy was recorded. The handwriting task was performed by having patients write 5 5-letter words into sets of boxes where each letter is separated by a box. The boxes were 15 × 15 mm, and accuracy was scored with 50 points possible from 25 letters: 1 point for each letter within the confines of a box and 1 point if the letter was legible. Correlation analysis was then performed. Median age of participants was 84 (range 54-97) years. Fifty-seven patients (86%) had age-related macular degeneration or some other maculopathy, whereas 9 patients (14%) had visual impairment from media opacity or neurologic impairment. Median Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study acuity was 20/133 (range 20/22 to 20/1000), and median logMAR acuity was 0.82 (range 0.04-1.70). SKread errors per block correlated with logMAR acuity (r = 0.6), and SKread time per block correlated with logMAR acuity (r = 0.51). SKread errors per block correlated with handwriting task time/accuracy ratio (r = 0.61). SKread time per block correlated with handwriting task time/accuracy ratio (r = 0.7). LogMAR acuity score correlated with handwriting task time/accuracy ratio (r = 0.42). All p values were handwriting performance in patients with low vision better than logMAR acuity. Copyright © 2015 Canadian Ophthalmological Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Chang, Shao-Hsia; Hong, Rong-Bin
Background First graders born prematurely perform poorly on handwriting speed and legibility. However, whether there are specific legibility factors in which preterm children demonstrate difficulty remains unknown. In addition, handwriting performance beyond the first grade and the influence of sex on handwriting performance in preterm children are still unclear. We aimed to investigate the influence of prematurity and sex on multiple dimensions of handwriting in grade two and to identify the contributors to performance. Methods Sixty-three preterm (34 boys and 29 girls) and 67 full-term (27 boys and 40 girls) peers in grade two were included. Class teachers were asked to complete the Chinese Handwriting Evaluation Form. A subgroup of 39 preterm children received assessments on intelligence, visual perception, tactile and kinesthetic sensation, and fine motor skills. Their inattention behavior was rated using a maternal self-report with a behavioral scale. Results Boys born prematurely exhibited poorer performance in the speed dimension than full-term boys (p = 0.008), whereas there was comparable performance in the two groups of girls (p = 0.221). In the dimensions related to legibility, preterm boys (32.4%) had a higher percentage of children with difficulty in the construction dimension than the other groups (preterm girls: 6.9%, full-term boys: 7.4%, full-term girls: 5.0%). However, no group difference was found in the dimensions of accuracy and directionality. Of the sensory-perceptual-motor factors, attention was the most significant predictor of accuracy in performance (p = 0.046) and speed dimensions (p = 0.001) in preterm children. Conclusions Boys appear to be vulnerable to the adverse impacts of preterm birth in terms of performance in the dimensions of speed and construction in grade two. Based on the significant contribution of attention to handwriting performance in preterm children, assessment and intervention in the area of attention is strongly
Fitzpatrick, Paula; Vander Hart, Nanho; Cortesa, Cathryn
Handwriting is used throughout the school day and is important to demonstrate knowledge. This research evaluated how handwriting instructional practices and intrinsic and extrinsic factors in actual classroom settings impacted learning handwriting over the course of the school year. Findings indicated that extrinsic factors (educational…
Li-Tsang, Cecilia W. P.; Au, Ricky K. C.; Chan, Michelle H. Y.; Chan, Lily W. L.; Lau, Gloria M. T.; Lo, T. K.; Leung, Howard W. H.
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the handwriting characteristics of secondary school students with and without physical disabilities (PD). With the use of a computerized Chinese Handwriting Assessment Tool (CHAT), it was made possible to objectively assess and analyze in detail the handwriting characteristics of individual…
Schomaker, Lambertus; Abbink, Gerben; Selen, Sjoerd
One of the problems in the automatic recognition of cursive and mixed-cursive handwriting is the large variation of handwriting styles in a population. Automatic detection of the generic handwriting style, or identification of the writer could be useful to counteract this problem. The starting point
Shimel, Kristin; Candler, Catherine; Neville-Smith, Marsha
The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of cursive handwriting programs in improving letter legibility and form in third-grade students without identified handwriting problems. Four months into the school year, cursive handwriting was assessed for a sample of convenience of 50 third-grade students. Subsequently, students received…
Dhall, Jasmine Kaur
Handwriting execution is based on the cognitive, kinesthetic, motor skills, and manual co-ordination skills of an individual. The deterioration in handwriting quality is a common implication of neurological disorders. Difficulty and degradation in handwriting has been attributed to the sensory motor deficits prevalent in developmental disorders.…
Maldarelli, Jennifer E.; Kahrs, Björn A.; Hunt, Sarah C.; Lockman, Jeffrey J.
Despite the importance of handwriting for school readiness and early academic progress, prior research on the development of handwriting has focused primarily on the product rather than the process by which young children write letters. In contrast, in the present work, early handwriting is viewed as involving a suite of perceptual, motor, and…
Safstrom, Daniel; Edin, Benoni B.
During visually guided grasping movements, visual information is transformed into motor commands. This transformation is known as the "visuomotor map." To investigate limitations in the short-term plasticity of the visuomotor map in normal humans, we studied the maximum grip aperture (MGA) during the reaching phase while subjects grasped objects…
Mongeon, David; Blanchet, Pierre; Messier, Julie
The capacity to learn new visuomotor associations is fundamental to adaptive motor behavior. Evidence suggests visuomotor learning deficits in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the exact nature of these deficits and the ability of dopamine medication to improve them are under-explored. Previous studies suggested that learning driven by large and…
Full Text Available Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS and transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS consist in the application of electrical current of small intensity through the scalp, able to modulate perceptual and motor learning, probably by changing brain excitability. We investigated the effects of these transcranial electrical stimulation techniques in the early and later stages of visuomotor learning, as well as associated brain activity changes using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. We applied anodal and cathodal tDCS, low-frequency and high-frequency tRNS (lf-tRNS, 0.1-100 Hz; hf-tRNS 101-640 Hz, respectively and sham stimulation over the primary motor cortex (M1 during the first 10 minutes of a visuomotor learning paradigm and measured performance changes for 20 minutes after stimulation ceased. Functional imaging scans were acquired throughout the whole experiment. Cathodal tDCS and hf-tRNS showed a tendency to improve and lf-tRNS to hinder early learning during stimulation, an effect that remained for 20 minutes after cessation of stimulation in the late learning phase. Motor learning-related activity decreased in several regions as reported previously, however, there was no significant modulation of brain activity by tDCS. In opposition to this, hf-tRNS was associated with reduced motor task-related-activity bilaterally in the frontal cortex and precuneous, probably due to interaction with ongoing neuronal oscillations. This result highlights the potential of lf-tRNS and hf-tRNS to differentially modulate visuomotor learning and advances our knowledge on neuroplasticity induction approaches combined with functional imaging methods.
Bartoli, Eleonora; Maffongelli, Laura; Jacono, Marco; D'Ausilio, Alessandro
The term affordance defines a property of objects, which relates to the possible interactions that an agent can carry out on that object. In monkeys, canonical neurons encode both the visual and the motor properties of objects with high specificity. However, it is not clear if in humans exists a similarly fine-grained description of these visuomotor transformations. In particular, it has not yet been proven that the processing of visual features related to specific affordances induces both specific and early visuomotor transformations, given that complete specificity has been reported to emerge quite late (300-450ms). In this study, we applied an adaptation-stimulation paradigm to investigate early cortico-spinal facilitation and hand movements׳ synergies evoked by the observation of tools. We adapted, through passive observation of finger movements, neuronal populations coding either for precision or power grip actions. We then presented the picture of one tool affording one of the two grasps types and applied single-pulse Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to the hand primary motor cortex, 150ms after image onset. Cortico-spinal excitability of the Abductor Digiti Minimi and Abductor Pollicis Brevis showed a detailed pattern of modulations, matching tools׳ affordances. Similarly, TMS-induced hand movements showed a pattern of grip-specific whole hand synergies. These results offer a direct proof of the emergence of an early visuomotor transformation when tools are observed, that maintains the same amount of synergistic motor details as the actions we can perform on them. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Brown, T L; Donnenwirth, E E
The interaction between attentional capacity, motor control processes, and strategic adaptations to changing task demands was investigated in handwriting, a continuous (rather than discrete) skilled performance. Twenty-four subjects completed 12 two-minute handwriting samples under instructions stressing speeded handwriting, normal handwriting, or highly legible handwriting. For half of the writing samples, a concurrent auditory monitoring task was imposed. Subjects copied either familiar (English) or unfamiliar (Latin) passages. Writing speed, legibility ratings, errors in writing and in the secondary auditory task, and a derived measure of the average number of characters held in short-term memory during each sample ("planning unit size") were the dependent variables. The results indicated that the ability to adapt to instructions stressing speed or legibility was substantially constrained by the concurrent listening task and by text familiarity. Interactions between instructions, task concurrence, and text familiarity in the legibility ratings, combined with further analyses of planning unit size, indicated that information throughput from temporary storage mechanisms to motor processes mediated the loss of flexibility effect. Overall, the results suggest that strategic adaptations of a skilled performance to changing task circumstances are sensitive to concurrent attentional demands and that departures from "normal" or "modal" performance require attention.
Li, Julia X; James, Karin H
Recent research has demonstrated that handwriting practice facilitates letter categorization in young children. The present experiments investigated why handwriting practice facilitates visual categorization by comparing 2 hypotheses: that handwriting exerts its facilitative effect because of the visual-motor production of forms, resulting in a direct link between motor and perceptual systems, or because handwriting produces variable visual instances of a named category in the environment that then changes neural systems. We addressed these issues by measuring performance of 5-year-old children on a categorization task involving novel, Greek symbols across 6 different types of learning conditions: 3 involving visual-motor practice (copying typed symbols independently, tracing typed symbols, tracing handwritten symbols) and 3 involving visual-auditory practice (seeing and saying typed symbols of a single typed font, of variable typed fonts, and of handwritten examples). We could therefore compare visual-motor production with visual perception both of variable and similar forms. Comparisons across the 6 conditions (N = 72) demonstrated that all conditions that involved studying highly variable instances of a symbol facilitated symbol categorization relative to conditions where similar instances of a symbol were learned, regardless of visual-motor production. Therefore, learning perceptually variable instances of a category enhanced performance, suggesting that handwriting facilitates symbol understanding by virtue of its environmental output: supporting the notion of developmental change though brain-body-environment interactions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Agius, Anna; Jones, Kylie; Epple, Rochelle; Morelato, Marie; Moret, Sébastien; Chadwick, Scott; Roux, Claude
Traditionally, forensic science has predominantly focused its resources and objectives on addressing court related questions. However, this view restricts the contribution of forensic science to one function and results in lost opportunities as investigative and intelligence roles are often overlooked. A change of perspective and expansion of the contributions of forensic science is required to take advantage of the benefits of abductive and inductive thought processes throughout the investigative and intelligence functions. One forensic discipline that has the potential to broaden its traditional focus is handwriting examination. Typically used in investigations that are focused on both criminal and civil cases, the examination procedure and outcome are time consuming and subjective, requiring a detailed study of the features of the handwriting in question. Traditionally, the major handwriting features exploited are characteristics that are often considered individual (or at least highly polymorphic) and habitual. However, handwriting can be considered as an information vector in an intelligence framework. One such example is the recognition of key elements related to the author's native language. This paper discusses the traditional method generally used around the world and proposes a theoretical approach to expand the application of handwriting examination towards gaining additional information for intelligence purposes. This concept will be designed and tested in a future research project. Copyright © 2017 The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. All rights reserved.
Li, Julia X.; James, Karin H.
Recent research has demonstrated that handwriting practice facilitates letter categorization in young children. The present experiments investigated why handwriting practice facilitates visual categorization by comparing two hypotheses: That handwriting exerts its facilitative effect because of the visual-motor production of forms, resulting in a direct link between motor and perceptual systems, or because handwriting produces variable visual instances of a named category in the environment that then changes neural systems. We addressed these issues by measuring performance of 5 year-old children on a categorization task involving novel, Greek symbols across 6 different types of learning conditions: three involving visual-motor practice (copying typed symbols independently, tracing typed symbols, tracing handwritten symbols) and three involving visual-auditory practice (seeing and saying typed symbols of a single typed font, of variable typed fonts, and of handwritten examples). We could therefore compare visual-motor production with visual perception both of variable and similar forms. Comparisons across the six conditions (N=72) demonstrated that all conditions that involved studying highly variable instances of a symbol facilitated symbol categorization relative to conditions where similar instances of a symbol were learned, regardless of visual-motor production. Therefore, learning perceptually variable instances of a category enhanced performance, suggesting that handwriting facilitates symbol understanding by virtue of its environmental output: supporting the notion of developmental change though brain-body-environment interactions. PMID:26726913
Roberts, Gwenyth I; Siever, Jodi E; Mair, Judith A
We studied whether Grade 4-6 students who participated in a kinesthetic writing intervention improved in legibility, speed, and personal satisfaction with cursive handwriting. Small groups of students with handwriting difficulties were seen weekly for 7 wk using a kinesthetic writing system. A repeated measures design was used to evaluate change in global legibility, individual letter formation, specific features of handwriting, and personal satisfaction. Analysis revealed (1) a significant increase in ratings of global legibility (p kinesthetic handwriting intervention may be effective in improving the skills of students with handwriting challenges.
Sinanaj, Indrit; Blakemore, Rebekah; Klug, Julian; Cojan, Yann; Galli, Silvio; Berney, Alexandre; Aybek, Selma; Vuilleumier, Patrik
Motor conversion disorder (CD) entails genuine disturbances in the subjective experience of patients who maintain they are unable to perform a motor function, despite lack of apparent neurological damage. Abilities by which individuals assess their own capacities during performance in a task are called metacognitive, and distinctive impairment of such abilities is observed in several disorders of self-awareness such as blindsight and anosognosia. In CD, previous research has focused on the recruitment of motor and emotional brain systems, generally linking symptoms to altered limbic-motor interactions; however, metacognitive function has not been studied to our knowledge. Here we tested ten CD patients and ten age-gender matched controls during a visually-guided motor paradigm, previously employed in healthy controls (HC), allowing us to probe for motor awareness and metacognition. Participants had to draw straight trajectories towards a visual target while, unbeknownst to them, deviations were occasionally introduced in the reaching trajectory seen on the screen. Participants then reported both awareness of deviations and confidence in their response. Activity in premotor and cingulate cortex distinguished between conscious and unconscious movement corrections in controls better than patients. Critically, whereas controls engaged the left superior precuneus and middle temporal region during confidence judgments, CD patients recruited bilateral parahippocampal and amygdalo-hippocampal regions instead. These results reveal that distinct brain regions subserve metacognitive monitoring for HC and CD, pointing to different mechanisms and sources of information used to monitor and form confidence judgments of motor performance. While brain systems involved in sensory-motor integration and vision are more engaged in controls, CD patients may preferentially rely on memory and contextual associative processing, possibly accounting for how affect and memories can imbue
Xu, Zhen; Srihari, Sargur N.
Missing values make pattern analysis difficult, particularly with limited available data. In longitudinal research, missing values accumulate, thereby aggravating the problem. Here we consider how to deal with temporal data with missing values in handwriting analysis. In the task of studying development of individuality of handwriting, we encountered the fact that feature values are missing for several individuals at several time instances. Six algorithms, i.e., random imputation, mean imputation, most likely independent value imputation, and three methods based on Bayesian network (static Bayesian network, parameter EM, and structural EM), are compared with children's handwriting data. We evaluate the accuracy and robustness of the algorithms under different ratios of missing data and missing values, and useful conclusions are given. Specifically, static Bayesian network is used for our data which contain around 5% missing data to provide adequate accuracy and low computational cost.
Mudhsh, Mohammed; Almodfer, Rolla; Duan, Pengfei; Xiong, Shengwu
In the handwriting recognition field, designing good descriptors are substantial to obtain rich information of the data. However, the handwriting recognition research of a good descriptor is still an open issue due to unlimited variation in human handwriting. We introduce a "character context descriptor" that efficiently dealt with the structural characteristics of Arabic handwritten characters. First, the character image is smoothed and normalized, then the character context descriptor of 32 feature bins is built based on the proposed "distance function." Finally, a multilayer perceptron with regularization is used as a classifier. On experimentation with a handwritten Arabic characters database, the proposed method achieved a state-of-the-art performance with recognition rate equal to 98.93% and 99.06% for the 66 and 24 classes, respectively.
Schaffert, Jeffrey; Lee, Chi-Mei; Neill, Rebecca; Bo, Jin
The current study examined the augmentation of error feedback on visuomotor adaptability in older adults with varying degrees of cognitive decline (assessed by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment; MoCA). Twenty-three participants performed a center-out computerized visuomotor adaptation task when the visual feedback of their hand movement error was presented in a regular (ratio=1:1) or enhanced (ratio=1:2) error feedback schedule. Results showed that older adults with lower scores on the MoCA had less adaptability than those with higher MoCA scores during the regular feedback schedule. However, participants demonstrated similar adaptability during the enhanced feedback schedule, regardless of their cognitive ability. Furthermore, individuals with lower MoCA scores showed larger after-effects in spatial control during the enhanced schedule compared to the regular schedule, whereas individuals with higher MoCA scores displayed the opposite pattern. Additional neuro-cognitive assessments revealed that spatial working memory and processing speed were positively related to motor adaptability during the regular scheduled but negatively related to adaptability during the enhanced schedule. We argue that individuals with mild cognitive decline employed different adaptation strategies when encountering enhanced visual feedback, suggesting older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may benefit from enhanced visual error feedback during sensorimotor adaptation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Engel-Yeger, Batya; Hus, Sari; Rosenblum, Sara
Sensory-processing abilities are known to deteriorate in the elderly. As a result, daily activities such as handwriting may be impaired. Yet, knowledge about sensory-processing involvement in handwriting characteristics among older persons is limited. To examine how age influences sensory-processing abilities and the impact on handwriting as a daily performance. The study participants were 118 healthy, independently functioning adults divided into four age groups: 31-45, 46-60, 61-75 and 76+ years. All participants completed the Adolescent/ Adult Sensory Profile (AASP). Handwriting process was documented using the Computerized Handwriting Penmanship Evaluation Tool (ComPET). Age significantly affects sensory processing and handwriting pressure as well as temporal and spatial measures. Both handwriting time and spatial organization of the written product were predicted by sensory seeking. When examining age contribution to the prediction of handwriting by sensory processing, sensory seeking showed a tendency for predicting handwriting pressure (p = .06), while sensory sensitivity significantly predicted handwriting velocity. Age appears to influence sensory-processing abilities and affect daily performance tasks, such as handwriting, for which sensitivity and seeking for sensations are essential. Awareness of clinicians to sensory-processing deficits among older adults and examining their impact on broader daily activities are essential to improve daily performance and quality of life.
Couture, Mélanie; Morin, Marie-France; Coallier, Mélissa; Lavigne, Audrey; Archambault, Patricia; Bolduc, Émilie; Chartier, Émilie; Liard, Karolane; Jasmin, Emmanuelle
Reasons for referring school-age children to occupational therapy mainly relate to handwriting problems. However, there are no validated tools or reference values for assessing handwriting in francophone children in Canada. This study aimed to adapt and validate the writing tasks described in an English Canadian handwriting assessment protocol and to develop reference values for handwriting speed for francophone children. Three writing tasks from the Handwriting Assessment Protocol-2nd Edition (near-point and far-point copying and dictation) were adapted for Québec French children and administered to 141 Grade 1 ( n = 73) and Grade 2 ( n = 68) students. Reference values for handwriting speed were obtained for near point and far point copying tasks. This adapted protocol and these reference values for speed will improve occupational therapy handwriting assessments for the target population.
Prunty, Mellissa; Barnett, Anna L
The nature of handwriting difficulties have been explored in children with specific developmental disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate the nature of handwriting difficulties in children with dysgraphia, a less studied group who have significant handwriting difficulties in the absence of motor control or cognitive difficulties. The performance of a dysgraphia group aged 8-14 years was compared to a group with Developmental Coordination Disorder and to typically developing (TD) controls. Participants completed two handwriting tasks on a digitizing writing tablet. The amount and accuracy of the handwriting product was measured, plus various temporal and spatial features of the writing process. There were no significant differences in performance between the two groups with handwriting difficulties but both performed more poorly than the TD group. Individual differences in the type and severity of handwriting impairments suggest the need for a range of classroom assessments to tailor intervention appropriately.
Bergamasco, Massimo; Frisoli, Antonio; Fontana, Marco; Loconsole, Claudio; Leonardis, Daniele; Troncossi, Marco; Foumashi, Mohammad Mozaffari; Parenti-Castelli, Vincenzo
This paper presents the preliminary results of the project BRAVO (Brain computer interfaces for Robotic enhanced Action in Visuo-motOr tasks). The objective of this project is to define a new approach to the development of assistive and rehabilitative robots for motor impaired users to perform complex visuomotor tasks that require a sequence of reaches, grasps and manipulations of objects. BRAVO aims at developing new robotic interfaces and HW/SW architectures for rehabilitation and regain/restoration of motor function in patients with upper limb sensorimotor impairment through extensive rehabilitation therapy and active assistance in the execution of Activities of Daily Living. The final system developed within this project will include a robotic arm exoskeleton and a hand orthosis that will be integrated together for providing force assistance. The main novelty that BRAVO introduces is the control of the robotic assistive device through the active prediction of intention/action. The system will actually integrate the information about the movement carried out by the user with a prediction of the performed action through an interpretation of current gaze of the user (measured through eye-tracking), brain activation (measured through BCI) and force sensor measurements. © 2011 IEEE
Ramaiah, Chetan; Kumar, Gaurav; Govindaraju, Venu
Handwriting styles are constantly changing over time. We approach the novel problem of estimating the approximate age of Historical Handwritten Documents using Handwriting styles. This system will have many applications in handwritten document processing engines where specialized processing techniques can be applied based on the estimated age of the document. We propose to learn a distribution over styles across centuries using Topic Models and to apply a classifier over weights learned in order to estimate the approximate age of the documents. We present a comparison of different distance metrics such as Euclidean Distance and Hellinger Distance within this application.
Full Text Available Visuomotor interference occurs when the execution of an action is facilitated by the concurrent observation of the same action and hindered by the concurrent observation of a different action. There is evidence that visuomotor interference can be modulated top-down by higher cognitive functions, depending on whether own performed actions or observed actions are selectively attended. Here, we studied whether these effects of cognitive context on visuomotor interference are also dependent on the point-of-view of the observed action. We employed a delayed go/no-go task known to induce visuomotor interference. Static images of hand gestures in either egocentric or allocentric perspective were presented as "go" stimuli after participants were pre-cued to prepare either a matching (congruent or non-matching (incongruent action. Participants performed this task in two different cognitive contexts: In one, they focused on the visual image of the hand gesture shown as the go stimulus (image context, whereas in the other they focused on the hand gesture they performed (action context. We analyzed reaction times to initiate the prepared action upon presentation of the gesture image and found evidence of visuomotor interference in both contexts and for both perspectives. Strikingly, results show that the effect of cognitive context on visuomotor interference also depends on the perspective of observed actions. When focusing on own-actions, visuomotor interference was significantly less for gesture images in allocentric perspective than in egocentric perspective; when focusing on observed actions, visuomotor interference was present regardless of the perspective of the gesture image. Overall these data suggest that visuomotor interference may be modulated by higher cognitive processes, so that when we are specifically attending to our own actions, images depicting others' actions (allocentric perspective have much less interference on our own actions.
Collette, Debra; Anson, Kylie; Halabi, Nora; Schlierman, April; Suriner, Allison
Handwriting is the cornerstone of written performance and communication for school-age children. This mixed-methods study explored the impact of Common Core State Standards on handwriting instruction and its effects on perceptions regarding children's written responses in elementary school. Using surveys and interviews of elementary teachers, occupational therapists, and administrators in New York State public schools, we sought to understand current trends in handwriting instruction, changes in time spent on handwriting instruction in the classroom, supports offered to students who did not meet expectations for handwriting, and the impact of Common Core on children's written expression. Themes emerged revealing decreased handwriting instruction time and inconsistent use of handwriting instructional programs in the classroom after implementation of Common Core. Handwriting should be considered as a greater component in the foundational standards in Common Core. Occupational therapy services can support handwriting instruction implementation. Copyright © 2017 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
Howe, Tsu-Hsin; Roston, Karen Laurie; Sheu, Ching-Fan; Hinojosa, Jim
This study examined the effectiveness of two approaches used in elementary schools to improve children's handwriting. Participants were 72 New York City public school students from the first and second grades. A nonequivalent pretest-posttest group design was used in which students engaged in handwriting activities using two approaches: intensive handwriting practice and visual-perceptual-motor activities. Handwriting speed, legibility, and visual-motor skills were examined after a 12-wk Handwriting Club using multivariate analysis of variance. The results showed that students in the intensive handwriting practice group demonstrated significant improvements in handwriting legibility compared with students in the visual-perceptual-motor activity group. No significant effects in handwriting speed and visual-motor skills were found between the students in intensive handwriting practice group and the students in visual-perceptual-motor activities group. The Handwriting Club model is a natural intervention that fits easily into existing school curriculums and can be an effective short-term intervention (response to intervention Tier II). Copyright © 2013 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
Schomaker, Lambert; Segers, Eliane
Abstract. This paper first summarizes a number of findings in the human reading of handwriting. A method is proposed to uncover more detailed information about geometrical features which human readers use in the reading of Western script. The results of an earlier experiment on the use of
Schomaker, L.R.B.; Segers, P.C.J.
This paper first summarizes a number of findings in human reading of handwriting. A method is proposed to uncover more detailed information about geometrical features which human readers use in the reading of Western script. The results of an earlier experiment on the use of ascender/descender
Full Text Available The objective of this study was to explore effects of writing modality on word recall and recognition. The following three writing modalities were used: handwriting with pen on paper; typewriting on a conventional laptop keyboard; and typewriting on an iPad touch keyboard. Thirty-six females aged 19-54 years participated in a fully counterbalanced within-subjects experimental design. Using a wordlist paradigm, participants were instructed to write down words (one list per writing modality read out loud to them, in the three writing modalities. Memory for words written using handwriting, a conventional keyboard and a virtual iPad keyboard was assessed using oral free recall and recognition. The data was analyzed using non-parametric statistics. Results show that there was an omnibus effect of writing modality and follow-up analyses showed that, for the free recall measure, participants had significantly better free recall of words written in the handwriting condition, compared to both keyboard writing conditions. There was no effect of writing modality in the recognition condition. This indicates that, with respect to aspects of word recall, there may be certain cognitive benefits to handwriting which may not be fully retained in keyboard writing. Cognitive and educational implications of this finding are discussed.
Mogey, Nora; Cowan, John; Paterson, Jessie; Purcell, Mike
Keyboarding (typing) is a ubiquitous skill for most UK students, and most coursework essays must be word processed. However, few examinations, other than for students with disabilities, permit the use of a word processor. It is not known how students would respond given a free choice between handwriting and word processing in an essay examination.…
Stevenson, Nancy C.; Just, Carol
Legible written communication is essential for students to share knowledge (Rogers and Case-Smith 2002). If students lack proficiency in written communication, their composition skills will suffer, which can affect their self-esteem and grades. Whether or not this proficiency is in handwriting or keyboarding is a question worthy of discussion. In…
Dinehart, Laura H.
Early fine motor writing skills are quickly becoming recognized as an important school readiness skill associated with later academic success (Dinehart and Manfra, 2013; Grissmer et al., 2010; Son and Meisels, 2006). Yet, little is known about the development of handwriting, the extent to which it is of value in the early childhood classroom and…
There are at least two major stumbling blocks for user acceptance of pen-based computers: the recognition performance is not good enough, especially on cursive handwriting; and the user interface technology has not reached a mature stage. The initial reaction of product reviewers and potential user
Lund, Ragnhild Elisabeth
This article discusses the role that handwriting can have when writing is used as a tool for learning in English language education. Nineteen Norwegian EFL teacher training students were interviewed in focus groups about their own practices and their thoughts about writing-to-learn activities. All the students said that they prefer to write by…
Santangelo, Tanya; Graham, Steve
While there are many ways to author text today, writing with paper and pen (or pencil) is still quite common at home and work, and predominates writing at school. Because handwriting can bias readers' judgments about the ideas in a text and impact other writing processes, like planning and text generation, it is important to ensure students…
Karatas, Zeynep; Arslan, Derya; Karatas, Mustafa Erdal
This study examines whether the trait and state anxiety and cursive handwriting anxiety of teachers differs according to assorted variables. The study group for this research project is composed of 381 teachers from the city of Burdur and the district centre of Bucak, Turkey. Of these participants, 44% were female and 56% were male. As for the…
Can individuals guess the gender of a writer based on a sample of his or her handwriting? We administer an electronic survey twice to the same individuals to find out. The resulting data set is interesting to students, rich enough to be amenable to a wide array of activities, and open to a variety of exploratory tacks for statistics students and…
Lambert, Eric; Kandel, Sonia; Fayol, Michel; Esperet, Eric
Four experiments examined whether motor programming in handwriting production can be modulated by the syllable structure of the word to be written. This study manipulated the number of syllables. The items, words and pseudo-words, had 2, 3 or 4 syllables. French adults copied them three times. We measured the latencies between the visual…
de Almeida, Pedro Henrique Tavares Queiroz; da Cruz, Daniel Marinho Cezar; Magna, Luis Alberto; Ferrigno, Iracema Serrat Vergotti
Handwriting is a fundamental skill needed for the development of daily-life activities during lifetime and can be performed using different forms to hold the writing object. In this study, we monitored the sEMG activity of trapezius, biceps brachii, extensor carpi radialis brevis and flexor digitorum superficialis during a handwriting task with two groups of subjects using different grasp patterns. Twenty-four university students (thirteen males and eleven females; mean age of 22.04±2.8years) were included in this study. We randomly invited 12 subjects that used the Dynamic Tripod grasp and 12 subjects that used the Static Tripod grasp. The static tripod group showed statistically significant changes in the sEMG activity of trapezium and biceps brachii muscles during handwriting when compared to dynamic tripod group's subjects. No significant differences were found in extensor carpi radialis brevis and flexor digitorum superficialis activities among the two groups. The findings in this study suggest an increased activity of proximal muscles among subjects using a transitional grasp, indicating potential higher energy expenditure and muscular harm with the maintenance of this motor pattern in handwriting tasks, especially during the progression in academic life. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Teulings, Hans-leo L; Schomaker, L R; Impedovo, S.
A handwriting pattern is considered as a sequence of ballistic strokes. Replications of a pattern may be generated from a single, higher-level memory representation, acting as a motor program. Therefore, those stroke features which show the most invariant pattern are probably related to the
Mace, Michael; Rinne, Paul; Liardon, Jean-Luc; Uhomoibhi, Catherine; Bentley, Paul; Burdet, Etienne
Passive rehabilitation devices, providing motivation and feedback, potentially offer an automated and low-cost therapy method, and can be used as simple human-machine interfaces. Here, we ask whether there is any advantage for a hand-training device to be elastic, as opposed to rigid, in terms of performance and preference. To address this question, we have developed a highly sensitive and portable digital handgrip, promoting independent and repetitive rehabilitation of grasp function based around a novel elastic force and position sensing structure. A usability study was performed on 66 healthy subjects to assess the effect of elastic versus rigid handgrip control during various visuomotor tracking tasks. The results indicate that, for tasks relying either on feedforward or on feedback control, novice users perform significantly better with the elastic handgrip, compared with the rigid equivalent (11% relative improvement, 9-14% mean range; p training devices.
Full Text Available Lexical orthography acquisition is currently described as the building of links between the visual forms and the auditory forms of whole words. However, a growing body of data suggests that a motor component could further be involved in orthographic acquisition. A few studies support the idea that reading plus handwriting is a better lexical orthographic learning situation than reading alone. However, these studies did not explore which of the cognitive processes involved in handwriting enhanced lexical orthographic acquisition. Some findings suggest that the specific movements memorized when learning to write may participate in the establishment of orthographic representations in memory. The aim of the present study was to assess this hypothesis using handwriting and spelling aloud as two learning conditions. In two experiments, fifth graders were asked to read complex pseudo-words embedded in short sentences. Immediately after reading, participants had to recall the pseudo-words’ spellings either by spelling them aloud or by handwriting them down. One week later, orthographic acquisition was tested using two post-tests: a pseudo-word production task (spelling by hand in Experiment 1 or spelling aloud in Experiment 2 and a pseudo-word recognition task. Results showed no significant difference in pseudo-word recognition between the two learning conditions. In the pseudo-word production task, orthography learning improved when the learning and post-test conditions were similar, thus showing a massive encoding-retrieval match effect in the two experiments. However, a mixed model analysis of the pseudo-word production results revealed a significant learning condition effect which remained after control of the encoding-retrieval match effect. This later finding suggests that orthography learning is more efficient when mediated by handwriting than by spelling aloud, whatever the post-test production task.
Bosse, Marie-Line; Chaves, Nathalie; Valdois, Sylviane
Lexical orthography acquisition is currently described as the building of links between the visual forms and the auditory forms of whole words. However, a growing body of data suggests that a motor component could further be involved in orthographic acquisition. A few studies support the idea that reading plus handwriting is a better lexical orthographic learning situation than reading alone. However, these studies did not explore which of the cognitive processes involved in handwriting enhanced lexical orthographic acquisition. Some findings suggest that the specific movements memorized when learning to write may participate in the establishment of orthographic representations in memory. The aim of the present study was to assess this hypothesis using handwriting and spelling aloud as two learning conditions. In two experiments, fifth graders were asked to read complex pseudo-words embedded in short sentences. Immediately after reading, participants had to recall the pseudo-words' spellings either by spelling them aloud or by handwriting them down. One week later, orthographic acquisition was tested using two post-tests: a pseudo-word production task (spelling by hand in Experiment 1 or spelling aloud in Experiment 2) and a pseudo-word recognition task. Results showed no significant difference in pseudo-word recognition between the two learning conditions. In the pseudo-word production task, orthography learning improved when the learning and post-test conditions were similar, thus showing a massive encoding-retrieval match effect in the two experiments. However, a mixed model analysis of the pseudo-word production results revealed a significant learning condition effect which remained after control of the encoding-retrieval match effect. This later finding suggests that orthography learning is more efficient when mediated by handwriting than by spelling aloud, whatever the post-test production task.
Gowda, Mahesh Ramanina; Harish, Nikitha; Aslam, Arun; Padmanabiah, Mangala; Magaji, Radhika
Context: Handwriting analysis is a unique, specialized and emerging scientific process that has been carried out and applied for centuries now. However, its reliability and effectiveness as a method of assessing personality and behavior is not established and is still a debatable issue. The present paper aimed to examine the possibility of a correlation between clinical diagnosis and graphological analysis and to explore the key links between the underlying personality traits and its manifestations in handwriting among children. Aim: The aim was to study the possibility of a correlation between clinical diagnosis and graphological analysis. Objectives: To explore the key links between the underlying personality traits and its manifestations in handwriting among children. To study the possibility of using Graphotherapy as a remedial tool in aid of teaching/learning techniques and behavior modifications. Hypothesis: There are no significant and concrete differences between the psychodiagnostic assessment of personality through Children's Personality Questionnaire (CPQ) and handwriting analysis. Materials and Methods: N = 60, age group = 8-12 years. Tools: CPQ - a 16 personality factor scale and a semi-structured proforma. Simple random sampling technique was used. Results: The P values for the study sample were found to be greater than 0.05 at 5% level of significance to all the 14 dimensions of personality hence going in line with the null hypothesis that states “there are no significant and concrete differences between the psychodiagnostic assessment of Personality through CPQ and handwriting analysis.” Graphologists were thoroughly trained to interpret on the same 14 dimensions of personality as that of CPQ, most samples were analyzed to have a lying loop, a trait, which might also be attributed to the difference found in Trait-H, further asserting the subjective limitations of most psychological tests. PMID:26702172
Kim, Aram; Kretch, Kari S; Zhou, Zixuan; Finley, James M
Successful negotiation of obstacles during walking relies on the integration of visual information about the environment with ongoing locomotor commands. When information about the body and environment are removed through occlusion of the lower visual field, individuals increase downward head pitch angle, reduce foot placement precision, and increase safety margins during crossing. However, whether these effects are mediated by loss of visual information about the lower extremities, the obstacle, or both remains to be seen. Here, we used a fully immersive, virtual obstacle negotiation task to investigate how visual information about the lower extremities is integrated with information about the environment to facilitate skillful obstacle negotiation. Participants stepped over virtual obstacles while walking on a treadmill with one of three types of visual feedback about the lower extremities: no feedback, end-point feedback, or a link-segment model. We found that absence of visual information about the lower extremities led to an increase in the variability of leading foot placement after crossing. The presence of a visual representation of the lower extremities promoted greater downward head pitch angle during the approach to and subsequent crossing of an obstacle. In addition, having greater downward head pitch was associated with closer placement of the trailing foot to the obstacle, further placement of the leading foot after the obstacle, and higher trailing foot clearance. These results demonstrate that the fidelity of visual information about the lower extremities influences both feed-forward and feedback aspects of visuomotor coordination during obstacle negotiation.
Full Text Available Visuo-motor adaptation suffers at older working age. The age-related decline of behavioural adjustments is accompanied by reduced explicit knowledge of the visuo-motor transformation. It disappears when explicit knowledge is kept constant across the age range, except for particularly high levels of explicit knowledge. According to these findings, at older adult age both the acquisition of explicit knowledge and its application for strategic corrections become poorer. Recently it has been posited that visuo-motor adaptation can involve model-free reinforcement mechanisms of learning in addition to model-based mechanisms. We tested whether age-related declines of reinforcement learning can also contribute to the age-related changes of visuo-motor adaptation. Therefore we enhanced the contribution of reinforcement learning to visuo-motor adaptation by way of introducing salient markers of success and failure during practice. With such modified practice conditions, there were residual age-related variations of behavioural adjustments at all levels of explicit knowledge, even when explicit knowledge was absent. The residual age-related variations were observed for practiced target directions only, but not for new target directions. These findings are consistent with an age-related decline of model-free reinforcement learning as a third factor in the age-related decline of visuo-motor adaptation. Under practice conditions, which spur model-free reward-based learning, this factor adds to the decrements of the acquisition of explicit knowledge and its use for strategic corrections.
Schwellnus, Heidi; Carnahan, Heather; Kushki, Azadeh; Polatajko, Helene; Missiuna, Cheryl; Chau, Tom
Pencil grasps other than the dynamic tripod may be functional for handwriting. This study examined the impact of grasp on handwriting speed and legibility. We videotaped 120 typically developing fourth-grade students while they performed a writing task. We categorized the grasps they used and evaluated their writing for speed and legibility using a handwriting assessment. Using linear regression analysis, we examined the relationship between grasp and handwriting. We documented six categories of pencil grasp: four mature grasp patterns, one immature grasp pattern, and one alternating grasp pattern. Multiple linear regression results revealed no significant effect for mature grasp on either legibility or speed. Pencil grasp patterns did not influence handwriting speed or legibility in this sample of typically developing children. This finding adds to the mounting body of evidence that alternative grasps may be acceptable for fast and legible handwriting. Copyright © 2012 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
Shi, Cao; Xiao, Jianguo; Xu, Canhui; Jia, Wenhua
A visual improvement algorithm based on Monte Carlo simulation is proposed in this paper, in order to enhance visual effects for bad handwriting. The whole improvement process is to use well designed typeface so as to optimize bad handwriting image. In this process, a series of linear operators for image transformation are defined for transforming typeface image to approach handwriting image. And specific parameters of linear operators are estimated by Monte Carlo method. Visual improvement experiments illustrate that the proposed algorithm can effectively enhance visual effect for handwriting image as well as maintain the original handwriting features, such as tilt, stroke order and drawing direction etc. The proposed visual improvement algorithm, in this paper, has a huge potential to be applied in tablet computer and Mobile Internet, in order to improve user experience on handwriting.
Drotár, Peter; Mekyska, Jiří; Rektorová, Irena; Masarová, Lucia; Smékal, Zdeněk; Faundez-Zanuy, Marcos
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder which impairs motor skills, speech, and other functions such as behavior, mood, and cognitive processes. One of the most typical clinical hallmarks of PD is handwriting deterioration, usually the first manifestation of PD. The aim of this study is twofold: (a) to find a subset of handwriting features suitable for identifying subjects with PD and (b) to build a predictive model to efficiently diagnose PD. We collected handwriting samples from 37 medicated PD patients and 38 age- and sex-matched controls. The handwriting samples were collected during seven tasks such as writing a syllable, word, or sentence. Every sample was used to extract the handwriting measures. In addition to conventional kinematic and spatio-temporal handwriting measures, we also computed novel handwriting measures based on entropy, signal energy, and empirical mode decomposition of the handwriting signals. The selected features were fed to the support vector machine classifier with radial Gaussian kernel for automated diagnosis. The accuracy of the classification of PD was as high as 88.13%, with the highest values of sensitivity and specificity equal to 89.47% and 91.89%, respectively. Handwriting may be a valuable marker as a diagnostic and screening tool.
In this study, the reason that the experts delivered opposing opinions on the identification of a document handwritten by a person with AD after being referred to court was investigated. Based on the judicial file, the document examiners did not have the opportunity to evaluate all factors affecting the handwriting or signature of the individual, and an adequate number of handwriting and signature examples were not collected for comparison. Consequently, the examiners reached differing opinions. Thus, the above-mentioned factors are necessary to derive a satisfactory and accurate opinion regarding the identification of handwriting or signature. Keywords: Forensic sciences, handwriting, signature, Alzheimer’s Disease.
Urbain, Charline; Houyoux, Emeline; Albouy, Geneviève; Peigneux, Philippe
Although a beneficial role of post-training sleep for declarative memory has been consistently evidenced in children, as in adults, available data suggest that procedural memory consolidation does not benefit from sleep in children. However, besides the absence of performance gains in children, sleep-dependent plasticity processes involved in procedural memory consolidation might be expressed through differential interference effects on the learning of novel but related procedural material. To test this hypothesis, 32 10-12-year-old children were trained on a motor rotation adaptation task. After either a sleep or a wake period, they were first retested on the same rotation applied at learning, thus assessing offline sleep-dependent changes in performance, then on the opposite (unlearned) rotation to assess sleep-dependent modulations in proactive interference coming from the consolidated visuomotor memory trace. Results show that children gradually improve performance over the learning session, showing effective adaptation to the imposed rotation. In line with previous findings, no sleep-dependent changes in performance were observed for the learned rotation. However, presentation of the opposite, unlearned deviation elicited significantly higher interference effects after post-training sleep than wakefulness in children. Considering that a definite feature of procedural motor memory and skill acquisition is the implementation of highly automatized motor behaviour, thus lacking flexibility, our results suggest a better integration and/or automation or motor adaptation skills after post-training sleep, eventually resulting in higher proactive interference effects on untrained material. © 2013 European Sleep Research Society.
Brossard-Racine, Marie; Mazer, Barbara; Julien, Marilyse; Majnemer, Annette
In this study we sought to validate the discriminant ability of the Evaluation Tool of Children's Handwriting-Manuscript in identifying children in Grades 2-3 with handwriting difficulties and to determine the percentage of change in handwriting scores that is consistently detected by occupational therapists. Thirty-four therapists judged and compared 35 pairs of handwriting samples. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses were performed to determine (1) the optimal cutoff values for word and letter legibility scores that identify children with handwriting difficulties who should be seen in rehabilitation and (2) the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in handwriting scores. Cutoff scores of 75.0% for total word legibility and 76.0% for total letter legibility were found to provide excellent levels of accuracy. A difference of 10.0%-12.5% for total word legibility and 6.0%-7.0% for total letter legibility were found as the MCID. Study findings enable therapists to quantitatively support clinical judgment when evaluating handwriting. Copyright © 2012 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
Peña Saldarriaga, Sebastián; Morin, Emmanuel; Viard-Gaudin, Christian
Online handwritten data, produced with Tablet PCs or digital pens, consists in a sequence of points (x, y). As the amount of data available in this form increases, algorithms for retrieval of online data are needed. Word spotting is a common approach used for the retrieval of handwriting. However, from an information retrieval (IR) perspective, word spotting is a primitive keyword based matching and retrieval strategy. We propose a framework for handwriting retrieval where an arbitrary word spotting method is used, and then a manifold ranking algorithm is applied on the initial retrieval scores. Experimental results on a database of more than 2,000 handwritten newswires show that our method can improve the performances of a state-of-the-art word spotting system by more than 10%.
Chihi, I; Abdelkrim, A; Benrejeb, M
This paper deals with characterization and modelling of human handwriting motion from two forearm muscle activity signals, called electromyography signals (EMG). In this work, an experimental approach was used to record the coordinates of a pen tip moving on the (x, y) plane and EMG signals during the handwriting act. The main purpose is to design a new mathematical model which characterizes this biological process. Based on a multi-model approach, this system was originally developed to generate letters and geometric forms written by different writers. A Recursive Least Squares algorithm is used to estimate the parameters of each sub-model of the multi-model basis. Simulations show good agreement between predicted results and the recorded data.
Palmis, Sarah; Danna, Jeremy; Velay, Jean-Luc; Longcamp, Marieke
This review focuses on the acquisition of writing motor aspects in adults, and in 5-to 12-year-old children without learning disabilities. We first describe the behavioural aspects of adult writing and dominant models based on the notion of motor programs. We show that handwriting acquisition is characterized by the transition from reactive movements programmed stroke-by-stroke in younger children, to an automatic control of the whole trajectory when the motor programs are memorized at about 10 years old. Then, we describe the neural correlates of adult writing, and the changes that could occur with learning during childhood. The acquisition of a new skill is characterized by the involvement of a network more restricted in space and where neural specificity is increased in key regions. The cerebellum and the left dorsal premotor cortex are of fundamental importance in motor learning, and could be at the core of the acquisition of handwriting.
Quaney, Barbara M; He, Jianghua; Timberlake, George; Dodd, Kevin; Carr, Caitlin
Unilateral middle cerebral artery infarction has been reported to impair bilateral hand grasp. Individuals (5 males and 5 females; age 33-86 years) with chronic unilateral middle cerebral artery stroke (4 right lesions and 6 left lesions) repeatedly lifted a 260-g object. Participants were then trained to lift the object using visuomotor feedback via an oscilloscope that displayed their actual grip force (GF) and a target GF, which roughly matched the physical properties of the object. The subjects failed to accurately modulate the predictive GF when relying on somatosensory information from the previous lifts. Instead, for all the lifts, they programmed excessive GF equivalent to the force used for the first lift. The predictive GF was lowered for lifts following the removal of the visual feedback. The mean difference in predictive GF between the lifts before and after visual training was significant (4.35 +/- 0.027 N; P feedforward fingertip force generation is impaired in the ipsilesional hand when lifting a novel object with precision grip. Reacquisition of the motor forces for the grasp of objects is possible after stroke. Potentially, retraining grasp control for the ipsilesional hand may translate to improved function and motor learning within the contralesional hand.
Jorge Alberto F. Caldeira
Full Text Available Em 43 crianças estrábicas nas quais foi determinado o quociente intelectual foram aplicados os testes visuomotores de Goldstein-Scheerer, Bender-Santucci, lateralidade e estereognosia. Os resultados foram comparados com os obtidos em 44 controles dos mesmos grupos etários e sócio-econômicamente semelhantes. Sugere-se o prosseguimento desta pesquisa com o estudo comparativo entre o teste de Goldstein-Scheerer e o "visual retention test" de Benton (1963 nos quais a análise do fator memória visual pode ser útil para averiguar dificuldades relacionadas com a prontidão para a alfabetização. Sugere-se, também, o estudo de um grupo de crianças em idade escolar com e sem perturbações da motilidade ocular extrínseca para avaliar a influência da escolaridade nos resultados dos testes.
Russell, D M; Sternad, D
In visuomotor tasks that involve accuracy demands, small directional changes in the trajectories have been taken as evidence of feedback-based error corrections. In the present study variability, or intermittency, in visuomanual tracking of sinusoidal targets was investigated. Two lines of analyses were pursued: First, the hypothesis that humans fundamentally act as intermittent servo-controllers was re-examined, probing the question of whether discontinuities in the movement trajectory directly imply intermittent control. Second, an alternative hypothesis was evaluated: that rhythmic tracking movements are generated by entrainment between the oscillations of the target and the actor, such that intermittency expresses the degree of stability. In 2 experiments, participants (N = 6 in each experiment) swung 1 of 2 different hand-held pendulums, tracking a rhythmic target that oscillated at different frequencies with a constant amplitude. In 1 line of analyses, the authors tested the intermittency hypothesis by using the typical kinematic error measures and spectral analysis. In a 2nd line, they examined relative phase and its variability, following analyses of rhythmic interlimb coordination. The results showed that visually guided corrective processes play a role, especially for slow movements. Intermittency, assessed as frequency and power components of the movement trajectory, was found to change as a function of both target frequency and the manipulandum's inertia. Support for entrainment was found in conditions in which task frequency was identical to or higher than the effector's eigenfrequency. The results suggest that it is the symmetry between task and effector that determines which behavioral regime is dominant.
Varlet, Manuel; Schmidt, R C; Richardson, Michael J
Historically, movement noise or variability is considered to be an undesirable property of biological motor systems. In particular, noise is typically assumed to degrade the emergence and stability of rhythmic motor synchronization. Recently, however, it has been suggested that small levels of noise might actually improve the functioning of motor systems and facilitate their adaptation to environmental events. Here, the authors investigated whether noise can facilitate spontaneous rhythmic visuomotor synchronization. They examined the influence of internal noise in the rhythmic limb movements of participants and external noise in the movement of an oscillating visual stimulus on the occurrence of spontaneous synchronization. By indexing the natural frequency variability of participants and manipulating the frequency variability of the visual stimulus, the authors demonstrated that both internal and external noise degrade synchronization when the participants' and stimulus movement frequencies are similar, but can actually facilitate synchronization when the frequencies are different. Furthermore, the two kinds of noise interact with each other. Internal noise facilitates synchronization only when external noise is minimal and vice versa. Too much internal and external noise together degrades synchronization. These findings open new perspectives for better understanding the role of noise in human rhythmic coordination.
Caligiuri, Michael P; Teulings, Hans-Leo; Dean, Charles E; Lohr, James B
Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a movement disorder commonly associated with chronic exposure to antidopaminergic medications, which may be in some cases disfiguring and socially disabling. The consensus from a growing body of research on the incidence and prevalence of TD in the modern era of antipsychotics indicates that this disorder has not disappeared continues to challenge the effective management of psychotic symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. A fundamental component in an effective strategy for managing TD is its reliable and accurate assessment. In the present study, we examined the clinical utility of a brief handwriting dysfluency measure for quantifying TD. Digitized samples of handwritten circles and loops were obtained from 62 psychosis patients with or without TD and from 50 healthy subjects. Two measures of dysfluent pen movements were extracted from each vertical pen stroke, including normalized jerk and the number of acceleration peaks. Tardive dyskinesia patients exhibited significantly higher dysfluency scores than non-TD patients and controls. Severity of handwriting movement dysfluency was correlated with Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale severity ratings for some tasks. The procedure yielded high degrees of test-retest reliability. These results suggest that measures of handwriting movement dysfluency may be particularly useful for objectively evaluating the efficacy of pharmacotherapeutic strategies for treating TD.
Dirlikov, Benjamin; Younes, Laurent; Nebel, Mary Beth; Martinelli, Mary Katherine; Tiedemann, Alyssa Nicole; Koch, Carolyn A.; Fiorilli, Diana; Bastian, Amy J.; Denckla, Martha Bridge; Miller, Michael I.; Mostofsky, Stewart H.
This study presents construct validity for a novel automated morphometric and kinematic handwriting assessment, including (1) convergent validity, establishing reliability of automated measures with traditional manual-derived Minnesota Handwriting Assessment (MHA), and (2) discriminant validity, establishing that the automated methods distinguish…
Patton, Sandra; Hutton, Eve
Children with Down Syndrome typically experience difficulties with attention to task and lack motivation when learning to write. This article provides an evaluation of the HWT (Handwriting Without Tears) method applied as an intervention to promote handwriting among children with Down Syndrome attending mainstream school in the Republic of…
Cramm, Heidi; Egan, Mary
Poor handwriting is a common reason for referral to school-based occupational therapy. A survey was used to explore the extent to which current practice patterns in Ontario, Canada, align with evidence on effective intervention for handwriting. Knowledge-to-practice gaps were identified related to focus on performance components versus…
Curtis, J.S.; Ruijs, L.S.; de Vries, M.H.E.; Winters, R.; Martens, J.B.O.S.
This paper describes an interactive application that aims to support the rehabilitation of handwriting skills in people that suffer from paralysis after a stroke. The purpose of the application is to make the rehabilitation of handwriting skills fun and engaging. Four platform-independent games with
Vincent, N.; Dorizzi, B.
n this paper is presented an example of the use of fractal approaches in the field of online handwriting processing. The adaptation of the box counting method to the computation of online handwriting fractal dimension is presented. The influence of different parameters is studied. This allows
Drotár, Peter; Mekyska, Jiří; Rektorová, Irena; Masarová, Lucia; Smékal, Zdeněk; Faundez-Zanuy, Marcos
We present the PaHaW Parkinson's disease handwriting database, consisting of handwriting samples from Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and healthy controls. Our goal is to show that kinematic features and pressure features in handwriting can be used for the differential diagnosis of PD. The database contains records from 37 PD patients and 38 healthy controls performing eight different handwriting tasks. The tasks include drawing an Archimedean spiral, repetitively writing orthographically simple syllables and words, and writing of a sentence. In addition to the conventional kinematic features related to the dynamics of handwriting, we investigated new pressure features based on the pressure exerted on the writing surface. To discriminate between PD patients and healthy subjects, three different classifiers were compared: K-nearest neighbors (K-NN), ensemble AdaBoost classifier, and support vector machines (SVM). For predicting PD based on kinematic and pressure features of handwriting, the best performing model was SVM with classification accuracy of Pacc=81.3% (sensitivity Psen=87.4% and specificity of Pspe=80.9%). When evaluated separately, pressure features proved to be relevant for PD diagnosis, yielding Pacc=82.5% compared to Pacc=75.4% using kinematic features. Experimental results showed that an analysis of kinematic and pressure features during handwriting can help assess subtle characteristics of handwriting and discriminate between PD patients and healthy controls. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Kushki, Azadeh; Chau, Tom; Anagnostou, Evdokia
Functional handwriting involves complex interactions among physical, cognitive and sensory systems. Impairments in many aspects of these systems are associated with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD), suggesting a heightened risk of handwriting difficulties in children with ASD. This scoping review aimed to: (1) survey the existing evidence about…
Hölzle, Patricia; Hermsdörfer, Joachim; Vetter, Céline
Handwriting is an elaborate and highly automatised skill relying on fine motor control. In laboratory conditions handwriting kinematics are modulated by the time of day. This study investigated handwriting kinematics in a rotational shift system and assessed whether similar time of day fluctuations at the work place can be observed. Handwriting performance was measured in two tasks of different levels of complexity in 34 shift workers across morning (6:00-14:00), evening (14:00-22:00) and night shifts (22:00-6:00). Participants were tested during all three shifts in 2-h intervals with mobile testing devices. We calculated average velocity, script size and writing frequency to quantify handwriting kinematics and fluency. Average velocity and script size were significantly affected by the shift work schedule with the worst performance during morning shifts and the best performance during evening shifts. Our data are of high economic relevance as fine motor skills are indispensable for accurate and effective production at the work place. Handwriting is one of the most complex fine motor skills in humans, which is frequently performed in daily life. In this study, we tested handwriting repeatedly at the work place in a rotational shift system. We found slower handwriting velocity and reduced script size during morning shifts.
Brossard-Racine, Marie; Majnemer, Annette; Shevell, Michael; Snider, Laurie; Belanger, Stacey Ageranioti
Preliminary evidence suggests that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may exhibit handwriting difficulties. However, the exact nature of these difficulties and the extent to which they may relate to motor or behavioural difficulties remains unclear. The aim of this study was to describe handwriting capacity in children…
Alamargot, Denis; Morin, Marie-France; Simard-Dupuis, Érika
We set out to (i) assess the handwriting skills of signing deaf students, and (ii) examine the extent to which their text composition and spelling performances are linked to their handwriting efficiency. We asked 15 prelingually and profoundly deaf middle-school students (M = 15.18 years), all sign-language users, and a group of hearing students…
Reinders-Messelink, H.A.; Schoemaker, M.M.; Goeken, L.N H; van den Briel, M.M.; Kamps, W.A; Simner, M L; Leedham, C G; Thomassen, A J W M
Fine motor skills and handwriting performance were investigated in 17 children at least two years after treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. It was hypothesized that as a late effect of vincristine neuropathy, children would still have fine motor and/or handwriting problems. Gross and fine
Vander Hart, Nanho; Fitzpatrick, Paula; Cortesa, Cathryn
The quality of handwriting curriculum and instructional practices in actual classrooms was investigated in an in-depth case study of four inner city kindergarten classrooms using quantitative and qualitative methods. The handwriting proficiency of students was also evaluated to assess the impact of the instructional practices observed. The…
Gosse, Claire; Carbonnelle, Simon; de Vleeschouwer, Christophe; Van Reybroeck, Marie
Research about the development of the graphomotor side of writing is very scarce. The goal of this study was to gain a better understanding of what constitutes graphic complexity of written material by determining the impact of graphic characteristics on handwriting production. In this end, the pen stroke of cursive handwriting was precisely…
Objective To describe handwriting and executive control features and their inter-relationships among children with developmental dysgraphia, in comparison to controls. Method Participants included 64 children, aged 10–12 years, 32 with dysgraphia based on the Handwriting Proficiency Screening Questionnaire (HPSQ) and 32 matched controls. Children copied a paragraph onto paper affixed to a digitizer that supplied handwriting process objective measures (Computerized Penmanship Evaluation Tool (ComPET). Their written product was evaluated by the Hebrew Handwriting Evaluation (HHE). Parents completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) questionnaire about their child's executive control abilities. Results Significant group differences were found for handwriting performance measures (HHE and ComPET) and executive control domains (BRIEF). Based on one discriminate function, including handwriting performance and executive control measures, 98.4% of the participants were correctly classified into groups. Significant correlations were found in each group between working memory and legibility as well as for other executive domains and handwriting measures. Furthermore, twenty percent of the variability of the mean pressure applied towards the writing surface among children with was explained by their 'emotional control' (BRIEF). Conclusion The results strongly suggest consideration of executive control domains to obtain better insight into handwriting impairment characteristics among children with dysgraphia to improve their identification, evaluation and the intervention process. PMID:29689111
McMaster, Emily; Roberts, Tara
Historically, handwriting is a skill acquired by children in the classroom. The relevance of this skill today is currently debated due to advances in technology. A nonexperimental time-series design investigated how much time Australian primary school children spend on handwriting in the classroom. A second aim investigated how much time was spent…
Julie Souza de Medeiros Rocha
Full Text Available Introduction: At school age, handwriting is on of the most important tasks among the fine motor activities. Good handwriting performance contributes to the child´s school performance. As prematurity impacts on motor development, it may influence handwriting. Objective: To review the specific literature and investigate whether there are differences in handwriting performance at school age between children born preterm and full term. Method: A search was performed in the Capes electronic database, in English and Portuguese, comprising the time period between January 2000 and June 2012. Articles were selected according to the inclusion criteria; the sample, objectives, instruments utilized and outcomes were analyzed. Results: Six articles were included in the study. Data analysis indicates that children born prematurely present poorer handwriting performance and a handicap in the underlying handwriting mechanisms when compared with full term infants. Conclusion: Preterm children without obvious neurological impairment are at increased risk for problems in handwriting development at school age. The small number of recent studies on this topic indicates a need for further research, as well as the development of standardized resources for the motor and handwriting assessment of Brazilian children.
Chang, Shao-Hsia; Yu, Nan-Ying
Aim: The purpose of this study was to characterize handwriting deficits in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) using computerized movement analyses. Method: Seventy-two children (40 females, 32 males; mean age 7y, SD 7mo; range 6y 2mo to 7y 11mo) with handwriting deficits (33 with DCD, 39 without DCD); and 22 age- and…
Rosenblum, Sara; Aloni, Tsipi; Josman, Naomi
Organizational ability constitutes one executive function (EF) component essential for common everyday performance. The study aim was to explore the relationship between handwriting performance and organizational ability in school-aged children. Participants were 58 males, aged 7-8 years, 30 with dysgraphia and 28 with proficient handwriting.…
Khalid, Puspa Inayat; Yunus, Jasmy; Adnan, Robiah
Studies have shown that differences between children with and without handwriting difficulties lie not only in the written product (static data) but also in dynamic data of handwriting process. Since writing system varies among countries and individuals, this study was conducted to determine the feasibility of using quantitative outcome measures…
Bayat, Seher; Küçükayar, Hasan
This study aims to identify third-grade students' performance levels for written expression and handwriting and to find the relationship between these performances. The study is based on relational screening model. It is carried out with 110 third grade students. Students' levels of success in handwriting and in written expression are evaluated…
Van Waelvelde, Hilde; De Roubaix, Amy; Steppe, Lien; Troubleyn, Evy; De Mey, Barbara; Dewitte, Griet; Debrabant, Julie; Van de Velde, Dominique
Handwriting difficulties may have pervasive effects on a child's school performance. I Can! is a remedial handwriting program with a focus on self-regulated learning and applying motor learning principles combined with a behavioural approach. It is developed for typically developing children with handwriting problems. The study aim was to evaluate the program's effectiveness. Thirty-one children aged 7-8 year participated in a cross-over study. Handwriting quality and speed were repeatedly assessed by means of the Systematic Screening of Handwriting Difficulties test. Difficulties addressed were fluency in letter formation, fluency in letter connections, letter height, regularity of letter height, space between words, and line path. Mixed model analysis revealed improved quality of writing and speed for all children but significantly more improvement in handwriting quality for the children participating in the program. Although writing speed improved over time, no additional effects of the program occurred. 'I Can!' is found to be an effective instructive program to ameliorate handwriting quality in typically developing children with handwriting difficulties. The program's success was by a therapy burst of only 7 weeks focusing on the child's self-regulated learning capacities, within an individualized education plan according to their needs and goals.
Kandel, Sonia; Peereman, Ronald; Grosjacques, Geraldine; Fayol, Michel
This study examined the theoretical controversy on the impact of syllables and bigrams in handwriting production. French children and adults wrote words on a digitizer so that we could collect data on the local, online processing of handwriting production. The words differed in the position of the lowest frequency bigram. In one condition, it…
To describe handwriting and executive control features and their inter-relationships among children with developmental dysgraphia, in comparison to controls. Participants included 64 children, aged 10-12 years, 32 with dysgraphia based on the Handwriting Proficiency Screening Questionnaire (HPSQ) and 32 matched controls. Children copied a paragraph onto paper affixed to a digitizer that supplied handwriting process objective measures (Computerized Penmanship Evaluation Tool (ComPET). Their written product was evaluated by the Hebrew Handwriting Evaluation (HHE). Parents completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) questionnaire about their child's executive control abilities. Significant group differences were found for handwriting performance measures (HHE and ComPET) and executive control domains (BRIEF). Based on one discriminate function, including handwriting performance and executive control measures, 98.4% of the participants were correctly classified into groups. Significant correlations were found in each group between working memory and legibility as well as for other executive domains and handwriting measures. Furthermore, twenty percent of the variability of the mean pressure applied towards the writing surface among children with was explained by their 'emotional control' (BRIEF). The results strongly suggest consideration of executive control domains to obtain better insight into handwriting impairment characteristics among children with dysgraphia to improve their identification, evaluation and the intervention process.
Engel, Courtney; Lillie, Kristin; Zurawski, Sarah; Travers, Brittany G.
Challenges with handwriting can have a negative impact on academic performance, and these challenges are commonly addressed by occupational therapy practitioners in school settings. This systematic review examined the efficacy of curriculum-based interventions to address children’s handwriting difficulties in the classroom (preschool to second grade). We reviewed and computed effect sizes for 13 studies (11 Level II, 2 Level III) identified through a comprehensive database search. The evidence shows that curriculum-based handwriting interventions resulted in small- to medium-sized improvements in legibility, a commonly reported challenge in this age group. The evidence for whether these interventions improved speed is mixed, and the evidence for whether they improved fluency is insufficient. No clear support was found for one handwriting program over another. These results suggest that curriculum-based interventions can lead to improvements in handwriting legibility, but Level I research is needed to validate the efficacy of these curricula. PMID:29689170
Papi, Giampaolo; Botti, Cristina; Corsello, Salvatore Maria
BACKGROUND: Thyroid hormones are crucial for metabolism in all tissues in humans, including the nervous system and muscles, and could thus affect handwriting, which is the synthesis of complex and fine movements. Hyperthyroidism, characterized by symptoms such as tremor and weakness, could affect...... handwriting, although this has not been studied yet. The aim of this study was to evaluate handwriting characteristics before and after therapy for hyperthyroid Graves' disease (GD). METHODS: Twenty-two patients (15 women, 7 men) with untreated GD (median age: 44 years; range: 20-70 years) were asked to write...... a "standard text" before and 12 months after being rendered euthyroid. The letters underwent a standardized detailed analysis by a handwriting expert, through inspection and stereoscopic microscope and magnifying glass. RESULTS: All patients demonstrated handwriting variations, perceptible even to direct...
Ben-Pazi, Hilla; Ishihara, Abraham; Kukke, Sahana; Sanger, Terence D
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of mechanical properties of the pen on the quality of handwriting in children. Twenty two school aged children, ages 8–14 years wrote in cursive using a pen attached to a robot. The robot was programmed to increase the effective weight (inertia) and stiffness (viscosity) of the pen. Speed, frequency, variability, and quality of the two handwriting samples were compared. Increased inertia and viscosity improved handwriting quality in 85% of children (pHandwriting quality did not correlate with changes in speed, suggesting that improvement was not due to reduced speed. Measures of movement variability remained unchanged, suggesting that improvement was not due to mechanical smoothing of pen movement by the robot. Since improvement was not explained by reduced speed or mechanical smoothing, we conclude that children alter handwriting movements in response to pen mechanics. Altered movement could be caused by changes in proprioceptive sensory feedback. PMID:19794098
Helene M Sisti
Full Text Available The acquisition of a new bimanual skill depends on several motor coordination constraints. To date, coordination constraints have often been tested relatively independently of one another, particularly with respect to isofrequency and multifrequency rhythms. Here, we used a new paradigm to test the interaction of multiple coordination constraints. Coordination constraints that were tested included temporal complexity, directionality, muscle grouping, and hand dominance. Twenty-two healthy young adults performed a bimanual dial rotation task that required left and right hand coordination to track a moving target on a computer monitor. Two groups were compared, either with or without four days of practice with augmented visual feedback. Four directional patterns were tested such that both hands moved either rightward (clockwise, leftward (counterclockwise, inward or outward relative to each other. Seven frequency ratios (3∶1, 2∶1, 3∶2, 1∶1, 2∶3. 1∶2, 1∶3 between the left and right hand were introduced. As expected, isofrequency patterns (1∶1 were performed more successfully than multifrequency patterns (non 1∶1. In addition, performance was more accurate when participants were required to move faster with the dominant right hand (1∶3, 1∶2 and 2∶3 than with the non-dominant left hand (3∶1, 2∶1, 3∶2. Interestingly, performance deteriorated as the relative angular velocity between the two hands increased, regardless of whether the required frequency ratio was an integer or non-integer. This contrasted with previous finger tapping research where the integer ratios generally led to less error than the non-integer ratios. We suggest that this is due to the different movement topologies that are required of each paradigm. Overall, we found that this visuomotor task was useful for testing the interaction of multiple coordination constraints as well as the release from these constraints with practice in the presence of
Constantin A Rothkopf
Full Text Available The intrinsic complexity of the brain can lead one to set aside issues related to its relationships with the body, but the field of embodied cognition emphasizes that understanding brain function at the system level requires one to address the role of the brain-body interface. It has only recently been appreciated that this interface performs huge amounts of computation that does not have to be repeated by the brain, and thus affords the brain great simplifications in its representations. In effect the brain’s abstract states can refer to coded representations of the world created by the body.But even if the brain can communicate with the world through abstractions, the severe speed limitations in its neural circuitry mean that vast amounts of indexing must be performed during development so that appropriate behavioral responses can be rapidly accessed. One way this could happen would be if the brain used a decomposition whereby behavioral primitives could be quickly accessed and combined. This realization motivates of our study of independent sensorimotor task solvers, which we call modules, in directing behavior.The issue we focus on herein is how an embodied agent can learn such individual visuomotor modules while pursuing multiple goals. The biologically plausible standard for module programming is that of reinforcement given during exploration of the environment. However this formulation contains a substantial issue when sensorimotor modules are used in combination: The credit for their overall performance must be divided amongst them. We show that this problem can be solved and that diverse task combinations are beneficial in learning and not a complication, as usually assumed. Our simulations show that fast algorithms are available that allot credit correctly and are insensitive to measurement noise.
Sumner, Emma; Connelly, Vincent; Barnett, Anna L
Current models of writing do not sufficiently address the complex relationship between the 2 transcription skills: spelling and handwriting. For children with dyslexia and beginning writers, it is conceivable that spelling ability will influence rate of handwriting production. Our aim in this study was to examine execution speed and temporal characteristics of handwriting when completing sentence-copying tasks that are free from composing demands and to determine the predictive value of spelling, pausing, and motor skill on handwriting production. Thirty-one children with dyslexia (Mage = 9 years 4 months) were compared with age-matched and spelling-ability matched children (Mage = 6 years 6 months). A digital writing tablet and Eye and Pen software were used to analyze handwriting. Children with dyslexia were able to execute handwriting at the same speed as the age-matched peers. However, they wrote less overall and paused more frequently while writing, especially within words. Combined spelling ability and within-word pausing accounted for over 76% of the variance in handwriting production of children with dyslexia, demonstrating that productivity relies on spelling capabilities. Motor skill did not significantly predict any additional variance in handwriting production. Reading ability predicted performance of the age-matched group, and pausing predicted performance for the spelling-ability group. The findings from the digital writing tablet highlight the interactive relationship between the transcription skills and how, if spelling is not fully automatized, it can constrain the rate of handwriting production. Practical implications are also addressed, emphasizing the need for more consideration to be given to what common handwriting tasks are assessing as a whole.
Danna, Jérémy; Paz-Villagrán, Vietminh; Gondre, Charles; Aramaki, Mitsuko; Kronland-Martinet, Richard; Ystad, Sølvi; Velay, Jean-Luc
The quality of handwriting is evaluated from the visual inspection of its legibility and not from the movement that generates the trace. Although handwriting is achieved in silence, adding sounds to handwriting movement might help towards its perception, provided that these sounds are meaningful. This study evaluated the ability to judge handwriting quality from the auditory perception of the underlying sonified movement, without seeing the written trace. In a first experiment, samples of a word written by children with dysgraphia, proficient children writers, and proficient adult writers were collected with a graphic tablet. Then, the pen velocity, the fluency, and the axial pen pressure were sonified in order to create forty-five audio files. In a second experiment, these files were presented to 48 adult listeners who had to mark the underlying unseen handwriting. In order to evaluate the relevance of the sonification strategy, two experimental conditions were compared. In a first 'implicit' condition, the listeners made their judgment without any knowledge of the mapping between the sounds and the handwriting variables. In a second 'explicit' condition, they knew what the sonified variables corresponded to and the evaluation criteria. Results showed that, under the implicit condition, two thirds of the listeners marked the three groups of writers differently. In the explicit condition, all listeners marked the dysgraphic handwriting lower than that of the two other groups. In a third experiment, the scores given from the auditory evaluation were compared to the scores given by 16 other adults from the visual evaluation of the trace. Results revealed that auditory evaluation was more relevant than the visual evaluation for evaluating a dysgraphic handwriting. Handwriting sonification might therefore be a relevant tool allowing a therapist to complete the visual assessment of the written trace by an auditory control of the handwriting movement quality.
Danna, Jérémy; Paz-Villagrán, Vietminh; Gondre, Charles; Aramaki, Mitsuko; Kronland-Martinet, Richard; Ystad, Sølvi; Velay, Jean-Luc
The quality of handwriting is evaluated from the visual inspection of its legibility and not from the movement that generates the trace. Although handwriting is achieved in silence, adding sounds to handwriting movement might help towards its perception, provided that these sounds are meaningful. This study evaluated the ability to judge handwriting quality from the auditory perception of the underlying sonified movement, without seeing the written trace. In a first experiment, samples of a word written by children with dysgraphia, proficient children writers, and proficient adult writers were collected with a graphic tablet. Then, the pen velocity, the fluency, and the axial pen pressure were sonified in order to create forty-five audio files. In a second experiment, these files were presented to 48 adult listeners who had to mark the underlying unseen handwriting. In order to evaluate the relevance of the sonification strategy, two experimental conditions were compared. In a first ‘implicit’ condition, the listeners made their judgment without any knowledge of the mapping between the sounds and the handwriting variables. In a second ‘explicit’ condition, they knew what the sonified variables corresponded to and the evaluation criteria. Results showed that, under the implicit condition, two thirds of the listeners marked the three groups of writers differently. In the explicit condition, all listeners marked the dysgraphic handwriting lower than that of the two other groups. In a third experiment, the scores given from the auditory evaluation were compared to the scores given by 16 other adults from the visual evaluation of the trace. Results revealed that auditory evaluation was more relevant than the visual evaluation for evaluating a dysgraphic handwriting. Handwriting sonification might therefore be a relevant tool allowing a therapist to complete the visual assessment of the written trace by an auditory control of the handwriting movement quality
Gerth, Sabrina; Klassert, Annegret; Dolk, Thomas; Fliesser, Michael; Fischer, Martin H.; Nottbusch, Guido; Festman, Julia
Due to their multifunctionality, tablets offer tremendous advantages for research on handwriting dynamics or for interactive use of learning apps in schools. Further, the widespread use of tablet computers has had a great impact on handwriting in the current generation. But, is it advisable to teach how to write and to assess handwriting in pre- and primary schoolchildren on tablets rather than on paper? Since handwriting is not automatized before the age of 10 years, children's handwriting m...
Lee A Baugh
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: There has been little consensus as to whether age-related visuomotor adaptation effects are readily observable. Some studies have found slower adaptation, and/or reduced overall levels. In contrast, other methodologically similar studies have found no such evidence of aging effects on visuomotor adaptation. A crucial early step in successful adaptation is the ability to perform the necessary transformation to complete the task at hand. The present study describes the use of a viewing window paradigm to examine the effects of aging in a visuomotor transformation task. METHODS: Two groups of participants, a young adult control group (age range 18-33 years old, mean age = 22 and an older adult group (age range 62-74, mean age = 68 completed a viewing window task that was controlled by the user via a computer touchscreen. Four visuomotor "flip" conditions were created by varying the relationship between the participant's movement, and the resultant on-screen movement of the viewing window: 1 No flip 2 X-Axis and Y-axis body movements resulted in the opposite direction of movement of the viewing window. In each of the 3 Flip-X and 4 Flip-Y conditions, the solitary X- or Y-axes were reversed. Response times and movement of the window were recorded. CONCLUSIONS: Older participants demonstrated impairments in performing a required visuomotor transformation, as evidenced by more complex scanning patterns and longer scanning times when compared to younger control participants. These results provide additional evidence that the mechanisms involved in visuomotor transformation are negatively affected by age.
Loes C J van Dam
Full Text Available Humans can learn and store multiple visuomotor mappings (dual-adaptation when feedback for each is provided alternately. Moreover, learned context cues associated with each mapping can be used to switch between the stored mappings. However, little is known about the associative learning between cue and required visuomotor mapping, and how learning generalises to novel but similar conditions. To investigate these questions, participants performed a rapid target-pointing task while we manipulated the offset between visual feedback and movement end-points. The visual feedback was presented with horizontal offsets of different amounts, dependent on the targets shape. Participants thus needed to use different visuomotor mappings between target location and required motor response depending on the target shape in order to "hit" it. The target shapes were taken from a continuous set of shapes, morphed between spiky and circular shapes. After training we tested participants performance, without feedback, on different target shapes that had not been learned previously. We compared two hypotheses. First, we hypothesised that participants could (explicitly extract the linear relationship between target shape and visuomotor mapping and generalise accordingly. Second, using previous findings of visuomotor learning, we developed a (implicit Bayesian learning model that predicts generalisation that is more consistent with categorisation (i.e. use one mapping or the other. The experimental results show that, although learning the associations requires explicit awareness of the cues' role, participants apply the mapping corresponding to the trained shape that is most similar to the current one, consistent with the Bayesian learning model. Furthermore, the Bayesian learning model predicts that learning should slow down with increased numbers of training pairs, which was confirmed by the present results. In short, we found a good correspondence between the
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Adjustment to a visuo-motor rotation is known to be affected by ageing. According to previous studies, the age-related differences primarily pertain to the use of strategic corrections and the generation of explicit knowledge on which strategic corrections are based, whereas the acquisition of an (implicit internal model of the novel visuo-motor transformation is unaffected. The present study aimed to assess the impact of augmented information on the age-related variation of visuo-motor adjustments. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Participants performed aiming movements controlling a cursor on a computer screen. Visual feedback of direction of cursor motion was rotated 75 degrees relative to the direction of hand motion. Participants had to adjust to this rotation in the presence and absence of an additional hand-movement target that explicitly depicted the input-output relations of the visuo-motor transformation. An extensive set of tests was employed in order to disentangle the contributions of different processes to visuo-motor adjustment. Results show that the augmented information failed to affect the age-related variations of explicit knowledge, adaptive shifts, and aftereffects in a substantial way, whereas it clearly affected initial direction errors during practice and proprioceptive realignment. CONCLUSIONS: Contrary to expectations, older participants apparently made no use of the augmented information, whereas younger participants used the additional movement target to reduce initial direction errors early during practice. However, after a first block of trials errors increased, indicating a neglect of the augmented information, and only slowly declined thereafter. A hypothetical dual-task account of these findings is discussed. The use of the augmented information also led to a selective impairment of proprioceptive realignment in the younger group. The mere finding of proprioceptive realignment in adaptation to a visuo-motor
Huau, Andréa; Velay, Jean-Luc; Jover, Marianne
The aim of the present study was to analyze handwriting difficulties in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and investigate the hypothesis that a deficit in procedural learning could help to explain them. The experimental set-up was designed to compare the performances of children with DCD with those of a non-DCD group on tasks that rely on motor learning in different ways, namely handwriting and learning a new letter. Ten children with DCD and 10 non-DCD children, aged 8-10 years, were asked to perform handwriting tasks (letter/word/sentence; normal/fast), and a learning task (new letter) on a graphic tablet. The BHK concise assessment scale for children's handwriting was used to evaluate their handwriting quality. Results showed that both the handwriting and learning tasks differentiated between the groups. Furthermore, when speed or length constraints were added, handwriting was more impaired in children with DCD than in non-DCD children. Greater intra-individual variability was observed in the group of children with DCD, arguing in favor of a deficit in motor pattern stabilization. The results of this study could support both the hypothesis of a deficit in procedural learning and the hypothesis of neuromotor noise in DCD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Purpose - This study aims to investigate teacher perspectives on teaching handwriting to children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD and collaboration with occupational therapists. Design/methodology/approach - A descriptive design was applied. Purpose-designed surveys were distributed to teachers of children with ASD (aged 4-12 years in the Republic of Ireland. A response rate of 35 per cent (N = 75 was obtained, with 25 responses analysed using descriptive statistics of closed questions and content analysis of open-ended questions. Findings - Of 139 children with ASD, 80 (58 per cent were reported to have difficulties with handwriting. Teachers reported specific difficulties with pencil grasp, letter formation and task concept among the children with ASD. Fourteen (56 per cent, N = 25 respondents did not give handwriting as homework. Teachers valued occupational therapy advice, individualised programmes and ongoing consultation during implementation. Interest in occupational therapy education regarding handwriting was reported. Practical implications - Occupational therapy collaboration to address handwriting difficulties for children with ASD should include involvement in teacher education, coordination of teacher–parent collaboration and the need for involvement in early intervention provision within an emergent literacy framework. Originality/value - Handwriting development is challenging for children with ASD. There is limited information on teaching or teacher–occupational therapy collaborative practices to address handwriting difficulties of children with ASD.
Full Text Available This manuscript presents a preliminary investigation on the applicability of hyperspectral imaging technology for nondestructive and rapid analysis to reveal covered original handwritings. The hyperspectral imager Nuance-Macro was used to collect the reflected light signature of inks from the overlapping parts. The software Nuance1p46 was used to analyze the reflected light signature of inks which shows the covered original handwritings. Different types of black/blue ballpoint pen inks and black/blue gel pen inks were chosen for sample preparation. From the hyperspectral images examined, the covered original handwritings of application were revealed in 90.5%, 69.1%, 49.5%, and 78.6% of the cases. Further, the correlation between the revealing effect and spectral characteristics of the reflected light of inks at the overlapping parts was interpreted through theoretical analysis and experimental verification. The results indicated that when the spectral characteristics of the reflected light of inks at the overlapping parts were the same or very similar to that of the ink that was used to cover the original handwriting, the original handwriting could not be shown. On the contrary, when the spectral characteristics of the reflected light of inks at the overlapping parts were different to that of the ink that was used to cover the original handwriting, the original handwriting was revealed.
Papi, Giampaolo; Botti, Cristina; Corsello, Salvatore Maria; Ciardullo, Anna Vittoria; Pontecorvi, Alfredo; Hegedüs, Laszlo
Thyroid hormones are crucial for metabolism in all tissues in humans, including the nervous system and muscles, and could thus affect handwriting, which is the synthesis of complex and fine movements. Hyperthyroidism, characterized by symptoms such as tremor and weakness, could affect handwriting, although this has not been studied yet. The aim of this study was to evaluate handwriting characteristics before and after therapy for hyperthyroid Graves' disease (GD). Twenty-two patients (15 women, 7 men) with untreated GD (median age: 44 years; range: 20-70 years) were asked to write a "standard text" before and 12 months after being rendered euthyroid. The letters underwent a standardized detailed analysis by a handwriting expert, through inspection and stereoscopic microscope and magnifying glass. All patients demonstrated handwriting variations, perceptible even to direct observation. Graphological examination showed statistically significant changes after patients become euthyroid, in the following parameters: size of letters (4.5±1.1 vs. 5.9±1.3 mm; phandwriting in all patients. Following recovery from hyperthyroidism, a state of hypertrophic and contracted handwriting resulted in greater fluency and fluidity. Variations in handwriting should be included as signs/symptoms in GD.
Case-Smith, Jane; Holland, Terri; White, Susan
Our study examined the effects of Write Start, a classroom-embedded handwriting/writing program on handwriting and writing fluency for first grade students, co-taught by occupational therapists and teachers. Two first grade classrooms received the Write Start and two received standard handwriting instruction. This co-taught program included specific feedback during handwriting practice, small group activities, student self-evaluation, and peer supports. The students were evaluated on handwriting legibility, fluency, and written expression at baseline, immediately after the program, and 6 months later. When performance was compared between the two groups, the students in the Write Start program improved significantly more in legibility (d = .57) and fluency (d = .75) than students who received standard instruction. Gains in handwriting speed (d = .18), average legibility (d = .26), and written expression (d = .25) did not differ significantly between the two groups. A co-taught, inclusive handwriting/writing program can promote first grade students' achievement of lower case legibility and writing fluency.
Li-Tsang, Cecilia W P; Wong, Agnes S K; Leung, Howard W H; Cheng, Joyce S; Chiu, Billy H W; Tse, Linda F L; Chung, Raymond C K
There are more children diagnosed with specific learning difficulties in recent years as people are more aware of these conditions. Diagnostic tool has been validated to screen out this condition from the population (SpLD test for Hong Kong children). However, for specific assessment on handwriting problem, there seems a lack of standardized and objective evaluation tool to look into the problems. The objective of this study was to validate the Chinese Handwriting Analysis System (CHAS), which is designed to measure both the process and production of handwriting. The construct validity, convergent validity, internal consistency and test-retest reliability of CHAS was analyzed using the data from 734 grade 1-6 students from 6 primary schools in Hong Kong. Principal Component Analysis revealed that measurements of CHAS loaded into 4 components which accounted for 77.73% of the variance. The correlation between the handwriting accuracy obtained from HAS and eyeballing was r=.73. Cronbach's alpha of all measurement items was .65. Except SD of writing time per character, all the measurement items regarding handwriting speed, handwriting accuracy and pen pressure showed good to excellent test-retest reliability (r=.72-.96), while measurement on the numbers of characters which exceeded grid showed moderate reliability (r=.48). Although there are still ergonomic, biomechanical or unspecified aspects which may not be determined by the system, the CHAS can definitely assist therapists in identifying primary school students with handwriting problems and implement interventions accordingly. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Adriano Percival Calvo
Full Text Available Difficulties in the production of proficient handwriting can be detected early in childhood. From the control point of view, non-proficient handwriting can be explained by the difficulty in adequately activating motor synergies that give support to this motor skill. Therefore, imposing different demand on the control to the motor synergies of the fingers can generate improvement in the quality of handwriting. The goal of the present study was to verify the effects of an intervention program for children with handwriting difficulties, composed of manipulative and pre-calligraphic activities that stimulate finger motor synergies through different force production demands. Thirty-four children between 7 and 12 years of age participated in the present study. Handwriting quality was evaluated through the Minnesota Handwriting Assessment. Only the experimental group (n=18 was submitted to the intervention program developed throughout 27 sessions of 30 minutes each. The results indicate that the intervention program based on the variability of force production had a positive effect on the quality of handwriting,mainly in terms of the size of letters.
Patton, Sandra; Hutton, Eve
The active involvement of parents and children in goal setting and intervention is integral to contemporary occupational therapy process models. However, parental perspectives on collaborative handwriting intervention are limited. This paper presents parental perspectives on a three-way collaboration involving teachers, parents and an occupational therapist in the application of Handwriting Without Tears(®) (HWT(®) ) with children with Down syndrome. Within a larger mixed methods study, 44 parents completed purpose-designed questionnaires and six parents participated in a focus group, post 8 months of programme implementation. Both methods gathered parent's perspectives on the usefulness and limitations of applying HWT(®) . The focus group explored collaboration in depth. Analysis involved triangulation of data from descriptive analysis of numerical data with content analysis of open-ended questions and focus group data. Enablers of parent-child engagement in HWT(®) were identified as; the parent-child-friendly aspects of HWT(®) , the teacher involvement ensuring continuity which eased demands on parents, the ongoing support/guidance of the occupational therapist and the child's involvement in HWT(®) group intervention. The occupational therapists' involvement was reported as essential to encouraging teacher/parent involvement. Barriers to child-parent engagement included fluctuations in child health, mood, attention span and time limitations including the child's involvement in other therapy programmes. Parents perceived the HWT(®) and the three-way collaborative approach as enabling active parent-child engagement in handwriting intervention. This approach warrants further investigation. Findings have the potential to inform practice guidelines and pre- and post-graduation education related to collaborative handwriting intervention with children with Down syndrome and their families. © 2016 Occupational Therapy Australia.
Camicioli, Richard; Mizrahi, Seymour; Spagnoli, Jacques; Büla, Christophe; Demonet, Jean-François; Vingerhoets, François; von Gunten, Armin; Santos-Eggimann, Brigitte
Frailty is detected by weight loss, weakness, slow walking velocity, reduced physical activity or poor endurance/exhaustion. Handwriting has not been examined in the context of frailty, despite its functional importance. Our goal was to examine quantitative handwriting measures in people meeting 0, 1, and 2 or more (2+) frailty criteria. We also examined if handwriting parameters were associated with gait performance, weakness, poor endurance/exhaustion and cognitive impairment. From the population-based Lc65+, 72 subjects meeting 2+ frailty criteria with complete handwriting samples were identified. Gender-matched controls meeting 1 criterion or no criteria were identified. Cognitive impairment was defined by a Mini-Mental State Examination score of 25 or less or the lowest 20th percentile of Trail Making Test Part B. Handwriting was recorded using a writing tablet and measures of velocity, pauses, and pressure were extracted. Subjects with 2+ criteria were older, had more health problems and need for assistance but had higher education. No handwriting parameter differed between frailty groups (age and education adjusted). Writing velocity was not significantly slower among participants from the slowest 20th percentile of gait velocity but writing pressure was significantly lower among those from the lowest 20th percentile of grip strength. Poor endurance/exhaustion was not associated with handwriting measures. Low cognitive performance was related to longer pauses. Handwriting parameters might be associated with specific aspects of the frailty phenotype, but not reliably with global definitions of frailty at its earliest stages among subjects able to perform handwriting tests. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Robin, Donald A.; Jacks, Adam; Hageman, Carlin; Clark, Heather M.; Woodworth, George
This investigation examined the visuomotor tracking abilities of persons with apraxia of speech (AOS) or conduction aphasia (CA). In addition, tracking performance was correlated with perceptual judgments of speech accuracy. Five individuals with AOS and four with CA served as participants, as well as an equal number of healthy controls matched by…
Perez, Monica A.; Jensen, Jesper Lundbye; Nielsen, Jens Bo
learning. Here we investigated the effect of visuo-motor skill training involving the ankle muscles on the coupling between electroencephalographic (EEG) activity recorded from the motor cortex (Cz) and electromyographic (EMG) activity recorded from the left tibialis anterior (TA) muscle in 11 volunteers...... between cortex and muscle as part of the motor learning process....
de Jong, BM; Frackowiak, RSJ; Willemsen, ATM; Paans, AMJ
The distribution of increased regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) related to visuomotor coordination was studied by means of positron emission tomography (PET) in normal subjects. An experimental condition, in which a vertically presented zigzag figure had to be copied in a horizontal orientation,
Anglin, J. M.; Sugiyama, T.; Liew, S.-L.
Immersive, head-mounted virtual reality (HMD-VR) provides a unique opportunity to understand how changes in sensory environments affect motor learning. However, potential differences in mechanisms of motor learning and adaptation in HMD-VR versus a conventional training (CT) environment have not been extensively explored. Here, we investigated whether adaptation on a visuomotor rotation task in HMD-VR yields similar adaptation effects in CT and whether these effects are achieved through similar mechanisms. Specifically, recent work has shown that visuomotor adaptation may occur via both an implicit, error-based internal model and a more cognitive, explicit strategic component. We sought to measure both overall adaptation and balance between implicit and explicit mechanisms in HMD-VR versus CT. Twenty-four healthy individuals were placed in either HMD-VR or CT and trained on an identical visuomotor adaptation task that measured both implicit and explicit components. Our results showed that the overall timecourse of adaption was similar in both HMD-VR and CT. However, HMD-VR participants utilized a greater cognitive strategy than CT, while CT participants engaged in greater implicit learning. These results suggest that while both conditions produce similar results in overall adaptation, the mechanisms by which visuomotor adaption occurs in HMD-VR appear to be more reliant on cognitive strategies. PMID:28374808
Block, Hannah; Celnik, Pablo
When systematic movement errors occur, the brain responds with a systematic change in motor behavior. This type of adaptive motor learning can transfer intermanually; adaptation of movements of the right hand in response to training with a perturbed visual signal (visuomotor adaptation) may carry over to the left hand. While visuomotor adaptation has been studied extensively, it is unclear whether the cerebellum, a structure involved in adaptation, is important for intermanual transfer as well. We addressed this question with three experiments in which subjects reached with their right hands as a 30° visuomotor rotation was introduced. Subjects received anodal or sham transcranial direct current stimulation on the trained (experiment 1) or untrained (experiment 2) hemisphere of the cerebellum, or, for comparison, motor cortex (M1). After the training period, subjects reached with their left hand, without visual feedback, to assess intermanual transfer of learning aftereffects. Stimulation of the right cerebellum caused faster adaptation, but none of the stimulation sites affected transfer. To ascertain whether cerebellar stimulation would increase transfer if subjects learned faster as well as a larger amount, in experiment 3 anodal and sham cerebellar groups experienced a shortened training block such that the anodal group learned more than sham. Despite the difference in adaptation magnitude, transfer was similar across these groups, although smaller than in experiment 1. Our results suggest that intermanual transfer of visuomotor learning does not depend on cerebellar activity and that the number of movements performed at plateau is an important predictor of transfer.
Gazes, Yunglin; Rakitin, Brian C.; Steffener, Jason; Habeck, Christian; Butterfield, Brady; Basner, Robert C.; Ghez, Claude; Stern, Yaakov
Effects of dual-responding on tracking performance after 49-h of sleep deprivation (SD) were evaluated behaviorally and with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Continuous visuomotor tracking was performed simultaneously with an intermittent color-matching visual detection task in which a pair of color-matched stimuli constituted a…
Hülsdünker, Thorben; Strüder, Heiko K; Mierau, Andreas
The athlete's brain exhibits significant functional adaptations that facilitate visuomotor reaction performance. However, it is currently unclear if the same neurophysiological processes that differentiate athletes from non-athletes also determine performance within a homogeneous group of athletes. This information can provide valuable help for athletes and coaches aiming to optimize existing training regimes. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the neurophysiological correlates of visuomotor reaction performance in a group of skilled athletes. In 36 skilled badminton athletes, electroencephalography (EEG) was used to investigate pattern reversal and motion onset visual-evoked potentials (VEPs) as well as visuomotor reaction time (VMRT) during a simple reaction task. Stimulus-locked and response-locked event-related potentials (ERPs) in visual and motor regions as well as the onset of muscle activation (EMG onset) were determined. Correlation and multiple regression analyses identified the neurophysiological parameters predicting EMG onset and VMRT. For pattern reversal stimuli, the P100 latency and age best predicted EMG onset (r = 0.43; p = .003) and VMRT (r = 0.62; p = .001). In the motion onset experiment, EMG onset (r = 0.80; p badminton players while motor-related processes, although differentiating athletes from non-athletes, are not associated simple with visuomotor reaction performance.
Haarman, Juliet A.M.; Choi, Julia T.; Buurke, Jaap H.; Rietman, Johan S.; Reenalda, Jasper
Visual cues can be used to train walking patterns. Here, we studied the performance and learning capacities of healthy subjects executing a high-precision visuomotor walking task, in an augmented reality training set-up. A beamer was used to project visual stepping targets on the walking surface of
Hinder, Mark R; Walk, Laura; Woolley, Daniel G; Riek, Stephan; Carson, Richard G
An isometric torque-production task was used to investigate interference and retention in adaptation to multiple visuomotor environments. Subjects produced isometric flexion-extension and pronation-supination elbow torques to move a cursor to acquire targets as quickly as possible. Adaptation to a 30 degrees counter-clockwise (CCW) rotation (task A), was followed by a period of rest (control), trials with no rotation (task B0), or trials with a 60 degrees clockwise (CW) rotation (task B60). For all groups, retention of task A was assessed 5 h later. With initial training, all groups reduced the angular deviation of cursor paths early in the movements, indicating feedforward adaptation. For the control group, performance at commencement of the retest was significantly better than that at the beginning of the initial learning. For the B0 group, performance in the retest of task A was not dissimilar to that at the start of the initial learning, while for the B60 group retest performance in task A was markedly worse than initially observed. Our results indicate that close juxtaposition of two visuomotor environments precludes improved retest performance in the initial environment. Data for the B60 group, specifically larger angular errors upon retest compared with initial exposures, are consistent with the presence of anterograde interference. Furthermore, full interference occurred even when the visuomotor environment encountered in the second task was not rotated (B0). This latter novel result differs from those obtained for force field learning, where interference does not occur when task B does not impose perturbing forces, i.e., when B consists of a null field (Brashers-Krug et al., Nature 382:252-255, 1996). The results are consistent with recent proposals suggesting different interference mechanisms for visuomotor (kinematic) compared to force field (dynamic) adaptations, and have implications for the use of washout trials when studying interference between
Lang, W; Lang, M; Kornhuber, A; Kornhuber, H H
Slow negative potential shifts were recorded together with the error made in motor performance when two different groups of 14 students tracked visual stimuli with their right hand. Various visuomotor tasks were compared. A tracking task (T) in which subjects had to track the stimulus directly, showed no decrease of error in motor performance during the experiment. In a distorted tracking task (DT) a continuous horizontal distortion of the visual feedback had to be compensated. The additional demands of this task required visuomotor learning. Another learning condition was a mirrored-tracking task (horizontally inverted tracking, hIT), i.e. an elementary function, such as the concept of changing left and right was interposed between perception and action. In addition, subjects performed a no-tracking control task (NT) in which they started the visual stimulus without tracking it. A slow negative potential shift was associated with the visuomotor performance (TP: tracking potential). In the learning tasks (DT and hIT) this negativity was significantly enhanced over the anterior midline and in hIT frontally and precentrally over both hemispheres. Comparing hIT and T for every subject, the enhancement of the tracking potential in hIT was correlated with the success in motor learning in frontomedial and bilaterally in frontolateral recordings (r = 0.81-0.88). However, comparing DT and T, such a correlation was only found in frontomedial and right frontolateral electrodes (r = 0.5-0.61), but not at the left frontolateral electrode. These experiments are consistent with previous findings and give further neurophysiological evidence for frontal lobe activity in visuomotor learning. The hemispherical asymmetry is discussed in respect to hemispherical specialization (right frontal lobe dominance in spatial visuomotor learning).
Franz, Jason R; Francis, Carrie; Allen, Matt; Thelen, Darryl G
Visuomotor entrainment, or the synchronization of motor responses to visual stimuli, is a naturally emergent phenomenon in human standing. Our purpose was to investigate the prevalence and resolution of visuomotor entrainment in walking and the frequency-dependent response of walking balance to perturbations. We used a virtual reality environment to manipulate optical flow in ten healthy young adults during treadmill walking. A motion capture system recorded trunk, sacrum, and heel marker trajectories during a series of 3-min conditions in which we perturbed a virtual hallway mediolaterally with systematic changes in the driving frequencies of perceived motion. We quantified visuomotor entrainment using spectral analyses and balance deficits using trunk sway, gait variability, and detrended fluctuation analyses (DFA). ML kinematics were highly sensitive to visual perturbations, and instinctively synchronized (i.e., entrained) to a broad range of driving frequencies of perceived ML motion. However, the influence of visual perturbations on metrics of walking balance was frequency-dependent and governed by their proximity to stride frequency. Specifically, we found that a driving frequency nearest to subjects' average stride frequency uniquely compromised trunk sway, gait variability, and step-to-step correlations. We conclude that visuomotor entrainment is a robust and naturally emerging phenomenon during human walking, involving coordinated and frequency-dependent adjustments in trunk sway and foot placement to maintain balance at the whole-body level. These findings provide mechanistic insight into how the visuomotor control of walking balance is disrupted by visual perturbations and important reference values for the emergence of balance deficits due to age, injury, or disease.
Maliki, Makki; Al-Jawad, Naseer; Jassim, Sabah
Analysing a text or part of it is key to handwriting identification. Generally, handwriting is learnt over time and people develop habits in the style of writing. These habits are embedded in special parts of handwritten text. In Arabic each word consists of one or more sub-word(s). The end of each sub-word is considered to be a connect stroke. The main hypothesis in this paper is that sub-words are essential reflection of Arabic writer's habits that could be exploited for writer identification. Testing this hypothesis will be based on experiments that evaluate writer's identification, mainly using K nearest neighbor from group of sub-words extracted from longer text. The experimental results show that using a group of sub-words could be used to identify the writer with a successful rate between 52.94 % to 82.35% when top1 is used, and it can go up to 100% when top5 is used based on K nearest neighbor. The results show that majority of writers are identified using 7 sub-words with a reliability confident of about 90% (i.e. 90% of the rejected templates have significantly larger distances to the tested example than the distance from the correctly identified template). However previous work, using a complete word, shows successful rate of at most 90% in top 10.
Although the problem of handwriting variability due to lying body position has practical significance, particularly for last will cases, it has not been sufficiently studied. The presented experiment aimed to recognize how such posture may influence handwriting features. Samples of text and signatures were collected from 50 healthy individuals, aged 23-58, produced in three postures: typical sitting position (SP) and two different lying positions (LP1 & LP2). Using the SP sample of each individual as a specimen, eleven characteristics in LP1 and LP2 samples were evaluated as similar or different. Nine other features were measured with a specialized software, and their conformity was tested with Student's t-test. Although none of the characteristics differed significantly in most cases, variation occurred in pen pressure, margins, baselines, and heights of letters. Additionally, a series of blind tests revealed that lying position of the individuals did not hinder the possibility to identify their writings. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
Full Text Available The data presented here is related to the article titled, “Using handwriting to infer a writer's country of origin for forensic intelligence purposes” (Agius et al., 2017 . This article reports original writer, spatial and construction characteristic data for thirty-seven English Australian11 In this study, English writers were Australians whom had learnt to write in New South Wales (NSW. writers and thirty-seven Vietnamese writers. All of these characteristics were coded and recorded in Microsoft Excel 2013 (version 15.31. The construction characteristics coded were only extracted from seven characters, which were: ‘g’, ‘h’, ‘th’, ‘M’, ‘0’, ‘7’ and ‘9’. The coded format of the writer, spatial and construction characteristics is made available in this Data in Brief in order to allow others to perform statistical analyses and modelling to investigate whether there is a relationship between the handwriting features and the nationality of the writer, and whether the two nationalities can be differentiated. Furthermore, to employ mathematical techniques that are capable of characterising the extracted features from each participant.
Lin, Yu-Chen; Chao, Yen-Li; Wu, Shyi-Kuen; Lin, Ho-Hsio; Hsu, Chieh-Hsiang; Hsu, Hsiao-Man; Kuo, Li-Chieh
Numerous tools have been developed to evaluate handwriting performances by analysing written products. However, few studies have directly investigated kinetic performances of digits when holding a pen. This study thus attempts to investigate pen-grip kinetics during writing tasks of school-age children and explore the relationship between the kinetic factors and fine motor skills. This study recruited 181 children aged from 5 to 12 years old and investigated the effects of age on handwriting kinetics and the relationship between these and fine motor skills. The forces applied from the digits and pen-tip were measured during writing tasks via a force acquisition pen, and the children's fine motor performances were also evaluated. The results indicate that peak force and average force might not be direct indicators of handwriting performance for normally developing children at this age. Younger children showed larger force variation and lower adjustment frequency during writing, which might indicate they had poorer force control than the older children. Force control when handling a pen is significantly correlated with fine motor performance, especially in relation to the manual dexterity. A novel system is proposed for analysing school-age children's force control while handwriting. We observed the development of force control in relation to pen grip among the children with different ages in this study. The findings suggested that manipulation skill may be crucial when children are establishing their handwriting capabilities. © 2017 Occupational Therapy Australia.
Smits, Esther J.; Tolonen, Antti J.; Cluitmans, Luc; van Gils, Mark; Conway, Bernard A.; Zietsma, Rutger C.; Leenders, Klaus L.; Maurits, Natasha M.
Objective: To assess whether standardized handwriting can provide quantitative measures to distinguish patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease from age- and gender-matched healthy control participants. Design: Exploratory study. Pen tip trajectories were recorded during circle, spiral and line
Simons, Johan; Probst, Michel
This study evaluates the reliability of the Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting (DASH) in a Dutch-speaking sample of children. The sample included 650 boys and 513 girls (age range = 9-16 years). Handwriting speed measurements were obtained using the DASH. Interrater agreement, test-retest reliability, and internal consistency were calculated; gender and age effects were analyzed. Interrater agreement shows excellent reliability with intraclass correlation coefficients of at least 0.94. Test-retest correlations ranged from r = 0.65 to r = 0.81. The internal consistency measures, calculated with Cronbach's alpha, were between 0.88 and 0.94. Both gender and age have a significant effect on handwriting speed, with F (7.1144) = 17.43 (P handwriting speed of Dutch-speaking children. There is a tendency of girls to write faster than boys.
Cheng, Wen; Lopresti, Dan
Motivated by the widely accepted principle that the more training data, the better a recognition system performs, we conducted experiments asking human subjects to do evaluate a mixture of real English handwritten text lines and text lines altered from existing handwriting with various distortion degrees. The idea of generating synthetic handwriting is based on a perturbation method by T. Varga and H. Bunke that distorts an entire text line. There are two purposes of our experiments. First, we want to calibrate distortion parameter settings for Varga and Bunke's perturbation model. Second, we intend to compare the effects of parameter settings on different writing styles: block, cursive and mixed. From the preliminary experimental results, we determined appropriate ranges for parameter amplitude, and found that parameter settings should be altered for different handwriting styles. With the proper parameter settings, it should be possible to generate large amount of training and testing data for building better off-line handwriting recognition systems.
Medjkoune, Sofiane; Mouchère, Harold; Petitrenaud, Simon; Viard-Gaudin, Christian
The work reported in this paper concerns the problem of mathematical expressions recognition. This task is known to be a very hard one. We propose to alleviate the difficulties by taking into account two complementary modalities. The modalities referred to are handwriting and audio ones. To combine the signals coming from both modalities, various fusion methods are explored. Performances evaluated on the HAMEX dataset show a significant improvement compared to a single modality (handwriting) based system.
Rosenblum, Sara; Engel-Yeger, Batya; Fogel, Yael
Deterioration in the frontal and prefrontal cortex associated with executive functions (EF) occurs with age and may be associated with changes in daily performance. The aim of the present study was to describe changes occurring with age in Executive Functions (EF) and handwriting activity, as well as to analyze relationships between age, EF and handwriting performance. The study population included 80 healthy participants (aged 31 to 76+) living in the community. After answering five questions about their writing habits, the participants completed the Behavioral Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome (BADS). In addition, they performed a handwriting task on a digitizer included in the Computerized Penmanship Evaluation Tool (ComPET), which provides kinematic measures of the handwriting process. Significant differences were found between the four age groups for both EF and temporal and spatial handwriting measures. A series of regressions indicated that age predicted 35% of the variance of the BADS profile score (EF control) and 32% of the variance of in-air time while writing. The results of this study indicated age effect on both EF control and handwriting performance. Possible implications for further research and clinical evaluation and intervention are discussed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Sita, Jodi C; Taylor, Katelyn A
Handwriting, a complex motor process involves the coordination of both the upper limb and visual system. The gaze behavior that occurs during the handwriting process is an area that has been little studied. This study investigated the eye-movements of adults during writing and reading tasks. Eye and handwriting movements were recorded for six different words over three different tasks. The results compared reading and handwriting the same words, a between condition comparison and a comparison between the two handwriting tasks. Compared to reading, participants produced more fixations during handwriting tasks and the average fixation durations were longer. When reading fixations were found to be mostly around the center of word, whereas fixations when writing appear to be made for each letter in a written word and were located around the base of letters and flowed in a left to right direction. Between the two writing tasks more fixations were made when words were written individually compared to within sentences, yet fixation durations were no different. Correlation of the number of fixations made to kinematic variables revealed that horizontal size and road length held a strong correlation with the number of fixations made by participants. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Handwriting in Parkinson's disease (PD features specific abnormalities which are difficult to assess in clinical practice since no specific tool for evaluation of spontaneous movement is currently available.This study aims to validate the 'Systematic Screening of Handwriting Difficulties' (SOS-test in patients with PD.Handwriting performance of 87 patients and 26 healthy age-matched controls was examined using the SOS-test. Sixty-seven patients were tested a second time within a period of one month. Participants were asked to copy as much as possible of a text within 5 minutes with the instruction to write as neatly and quickly as in daily life. Writing speed (letters in 5 minutes, size (mm and quality of handwriting were compared. Correlation analysis was performed between SOS outcomes and other fine motor skill measurements and disease characteristics. Intrarater, interrater and test-retest reliability were assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC and Spearman correlation coefficient.Patients with PD had a smaller (p = 0.043 and slower (p 0.769 for both groups.The SOS-test is a short and effective tool to detect handwriting problems in PD with excellent reliability. It can therefore be recommended as a clinical instrument for standardized screening of handwriting deficits in PD.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to examine the effect that fine motor skills have on handwriting legibility in children of preschool age. [Subjects and Methods] The subjects of this study were 52 children of normal growth and development. In order to ascertain handwriting legibility, a Korean alphabet writing assessment was used; to measure fine motor skills, fine motor precision and manual dexterity, sub-items of BOT-2 were measured. Furthermore, in order to measure in-hand manipulation skills, a Functional Dexterity Test was conducted. [Results] The results of the study showed a high level of correlation between fine motor skills and handwriting legibility. The study revealed that the accuracy of hand and in-hand manipulation skills is factors that have an effect on handwriting legibility. [Conclusion] Through the current research, occupational therapists can provide activities that aid the development of fine motor precision and in-hand manipulation skills for children during the instruction and treatment of handwriting to preschool age children, which helps to conduct better legibility in their handwriting.
Surinta, Olarik; Chamchong, Rapeeporn
Palm leaf manuscripts were one of the earliest forms of written media and were used in Southeast Asia to store early written knowledge about subjects such as medicine, Buddhist doctrine and astrology. Therefore, historical handwritten palm leaf manuscripts are important for people who like to learn about historical documents, because we can learn more experience from them. This paper presents an image segmentation of historical handwriting from palm leaf manuscripts. The process is composed of three steps: 1) background elimination to separate text and background by Otsu's algorithm 2) line segmentation and 3) character segmentation by histogram of image. The end result is the character's image. The results from this research may be applied to optical character recognition (OCR) in the future.
Full Text Available In this article, the handwriting signals are represented based on geometric and spatio-temporal characteristics to increase the feature vectors relevance of each object. The main goal was to extract features in the form of a numeric vector based on the extraction of frequent patterns. We used two types of frequent motifs (closed frequent patterns and maximal frequent patterns that can represent handwritten characters pertinently. These common features patterns are generated from a raw data transformation method to achieve high relevance. A database of words consisting of two different letters was created. The proposed application gives promising results and highlights the advantages that frequent pattern extraction algorithms can achieve, as well as the central role played by the “minimum threshold” parameter in the overall description of the characters.
Braun, Daniel A.; Aertsen, Ad; Paz, Rony; Vaadia, Eilon; Rotter, Stefan; Mehring, Carsten
When faced with unpredictable environments, the human motor system has been shown to develop optimized adaptation strategies that allow for online adaptation during the control process. Such online adaptation is to be contrasted to slower over-trial learning that corresponds to a trial-by-trial update of the movement plan. Here we investigate the interplay of both processes, i.e., online adaptation and over-trial learning, in a visuomotor experiment performed by macaques. We show that simple non-adaptive control schemes fail to perform in this task, but that a previously suggested adaptive optimal feedback control model can explain the observed behavior. We also show that over-trial learning as seen in learning and aftereffect curves can be explained by learning in a radial basis function network. Our results suggest that both the process of over-trial learning and the process of online adaptation are crucial to understand visuomotor learning. PMID:21720526
Christou, Antonios I; Miall, R Chris; McNab, Fiona; Galea, Joseph M
The theoretical basis for the association between high working memory capacity (WMC) and enhanced visuomotor adaptation is unknown. Visuomotor adaptation involves interplay between explicit and implicit systems. We examined whether the positive association between adaptation and WMC is specific to the explicit component of adaptation. Experiment 1 replicated the positive correlation between WMC and adaptation, but revealed this was specific to the explicit component of adaptation, and apparently driven by a sub-group of participants who did not show any explicit adaptation in the correct direction. A negative correlation was observed between WMC and implicit learning. Experiments 2 and 3 showed that when the task restricted the development of an explicit strategy, high WMC was no longer associated with enhanced adaptation. This work reveals that the benefit of high WMC is specifically linked to an individual's capacity to use an explicit strategy. It also reveals an important contribution of individual differences in determining how adaptation is performed.
Tracy, Brian L.
The visual correction employed during isometric contractions of large proximal muscles contributes variability to the descending command and alters fluctuations in muscle force. This study explored the contribution of visuomotor correction to isometric force fluctuations for the more distal dorsiflexor (DF) and plantarflexor (PF) muscles of the ankle. Twenty-one healthy adults performed steady isometric contractions with the DF and PF muscles both with (VIS) and without (NOVIS) visual feedbac...
Sara J Hussain
Full Text Available Caffeine is widely consumed throughout the world and appears to indirectly facilitate learning and memory through effects on attention and motivation. Animal work indicates that post-training caffeine administration augments inhibitory avoidance memory, spatial memory, and object memory. In humans, post-training caffeine administration enhances the ability to discern between familiar images and new, similar images. However, the effect of post-training caffeine administration on motor memory has not been examined. Therefore, we tested two groups of low caffeine consumers (average weekly consumption ≤500 mg in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving acquisition of a continuous isometric visuomotor tracking skill. On Day 1, subjects completed 5 blocks (150 repetitions of training on the continuous isometric visuomotor skill and subsequently ingested either 200 mg of caffeine or placebo. On day 2, subjects completed an additional 5 blocks of training. Day 1 mean performance and performance variability were both similar between groups, suggesting that both groups acquired the motor skill similarly. For mean performance on Day 2, patterns of re-learning, mean performance learning magnitudes, mean performance learning rates, and mean performance retention magnitudes were all similar between groups. For performance variability on Day 2, there was a small trend towards increased variability in the caffeine group during re-learning, but performance variability learning magnitudes and performance variability retention magnitudes did not differ between groups. Because motor skill acquisition can also be conceptualized as a reduction in performance variability, these results suggest that there may be a small negative effect of post-practice caffeine administration on memory of a newly-learned visuomotor skill. Overall, we found no evidence to suggest that post-training caffeine administration enhances 24-hour retention of a newly
Hussain, Sara J; Cole, Kelly J
Caffeine is widely consumed throughout the world and appears to indirectly facilitate learning and memory through effects on attention and motivation. Animal work indicates that post-training caffeine administration augments inhibitory avoidance memory, spatial memory, and object memory. In humans, post-training caffeine administration enhances the ability to discern between familiar images and new, similar images. However, the effect of post-training caffeine administration on motor memory has not been examined. Therefore, we tested two groups of low caffeine consumers (average weekly consumption ≤500 mg) in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving acquisition of a continuous isometric visuomotor tracking skill. On Day 1, subjects completed 5 blocks (150 repetitions) of training on the continuous isometric visuomotor skill and subsequently ingested either 200 mg of caffeine or placebo. On day 2, subjects completed an additional 5 blocks of training. Day 1 mean performance and performance variability were both similar between groups, suggesting that both groups acquired the motor skill similarly. For mean performance on Day 2, patterns of re-learning, mean performance learning magnitudes, mean performance learning rates, and mean performance retention magnitudes were all similar between groups. For performance variability on Day 2, there was a small trend towards increased variability in the caffeine group during re-learning, but performance variability learning magnitudes and performance variability retention magnitudes did not differ between groups. Because motor skill acquisition can also be conceptualized as a reduction in performance variability, these results suggest that there may be a small negative effect of post-practice caffeine administration on memory of a newly-learned visuomotor skill. Overall, we found no evidence to suggest that post-training caffeine administration enhances 24-hour retention of a newly-learned continuous visuomotor
Hussain, Sara J.; Cole, Kelly J.
Caffeine is widely consumed throughout the world and appears to indirectly facilitate learning and memory through effects on attention and motivation. Animal work indicates that post-training caffeine administration augments inhibitory avoidance memory, spatial memory, and object memory. In humans, post-training caffeine administration enhances the ability to discern between familiar images and new, similar images. However, the effect of post-training caffeine administration on motor memory has not been examined. Therefore, we tested two groups of low caffeine consumers (average weekly consumption ≤500 mg) in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving acquisition of a continuous isometric visuomotor tracking skill. On Day 1, subjects completed 5 blocks (150 repetitions) of training on the continuous isometric visuomotor skill and subsequently ingested either 200 mg of caffeine or placebo. On day 2, subjects completed an additional 5 blocks of training. Day 1 mean performance and performance variability were both similar between groups, suggesting that both groups acquired the motor skill similarly. For mean performance on Day 2, patterns of re-learning, mean performance learning magnitudes, mean performance learning rates, and mean performance retention magnitudes were all similar between groups. For performance variability on Day 2, there was a small trend towards increased variability in the caffeine group during re-learning, but performance variability learning magnitudes and performance variability retention magnitudes did not differ between groups. Because motor skill acquisition can also be conceptualized as a reduction in performance variability, these results suggest that there may be a small negative effect of post-practice caffeine administration on memory of a newly-learned visuomotor skill. Overall, we found no evidence to suggest that post-training caffeine administration enhances 24-hour retention of a newly-learned continuous visuomotor
Anwar, Muhammad Nabeel; Navid, Muhammad Samran; Khan, Mushtaq; Kitajo, Keiichi
Psychometric, anatomical and functional brain studies suggest that individuals differ in the way that they perceive and analyze information and strategically control and execute movements. Inter-individual differences are also observed in neural correlates of specific and general cognitive ability. As a result, some individuals perceive and adapt to environmental conditions and perform motor activities better than others. The aim of this study was to identify a common factor that predicts adaptation of a reaching movement to a visual perturbation and suppression of movement-related brain activity (mu rhythms). Twenty-eight participants participated in two different experiments designed to evaluate visuomotor adaptation and mu suppression ability. Performance intelligence quotient (IQ) was assessed using the revised Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. Performance IQ predicted adaptation index of visuomotor performance (r=0.43, p=0.02) and suppression of mu rhythms (r=-0.59; pIQ were faster at adapting to a visuomotor perturbation and better at suppressing mu activity than participants with low performance IQ. We found a possible link between performance IQ and mu suppression, and performance IQ and the initial rate of adaptation. Individuals with high performance IQ were better in suppressing mu rhythms and were quicker at associating motor command and required movement than individuals with low performance IQ. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Simon, Anja; Bock, Otmar
Visuomotor adaptation declines in older age. This has been attributed to cognitive impairments. One relevant cognitive function could be creativity, since creativity is implicated as mediator of early learning. The present study therefore evaluates whether two aspects of creativity, divergent and convergent thinking, are differentially involved in the age-dependent decline of visuomotor adaptation. In 25 young and 24 older volunteers, divergent thinking was assessed by the alternative-uses-task (AUT), convergent thinking by the Intelligenz-Struktur-Test-2000 (IST), and sensorimotor-adaptation by a pointing task with 60° rotated visual feedback. Young participants outperformed older participants in all three tasks. AUT scores were positively associated with young but not older participants' adaptive performance, whereas IST scores were negatively associated with older but not young participants' adaptive performance. This pattern of findings could be attributed to a consistent relationship between AUT, IST and adaptation; taking this into account, adaptation deficits of older participants were no longer significant. We conclude that divergent thinking supports workaround-strategies during adaptation, but doesn't influence visuomotor recalibration. Furthermore, the decay of divergent thinking in older adults may explain most of age-related decline of adaptive strategies. When the age-related decay of divergent thinking coincides with well-preserved convergent thinking, adaptation suffers most. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Taschereau-Dumouchel, Vincent; Hétu, Sébastien; Michon, Pierre-Emmanuel; Vachon-Presseau, Etienne; Massicotte, Elsa; De Beaumont, Louis; Fecteau, Shirley; Poirier, Judes; Mercier, Catherine; Chagnon, Yvon C.; Jackson, Philip L.
Motor representations in the human mirror neuron system are tuned to respond to specific observed actions. This ability is widely believed to be influenced by genetic factors, but no study has reported a genetic variant affecting this system so far. One possibility is that genetic variants might interact with visuomotor associative learning to configure the system to respond to novel observed actions. In this perspective, we conducted a candidate gene study on the Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism, a genetic variant linked to motor learning in regions of the mirror neuron system, and tested the effect of this polymorphism on motor facilitation and visuomotor associative learning. In a single-pulse TMS study carried on 16 Met (Val/Met and Met/Met) and 16 Val/Val participants selected from a large pool of healthy volunteers, Met participants showed significantly less muscle-specific corticospinal sensitivity during action observation, as well as reduced visuomotor associative learning, compared to Val homozygotes. These results are the first evidence of a genetic variant tuning sensitivity to action observation and bring to light the importance of considering the intricate relation between genetics and associative learning in order to further understand the origin and function of the human mirror neuron system. PMID:27703276
Vaca-Palomares, Israel; Díaz, Rosalinda; Rodríguez-Labrada, Roberto; Medrano-Montero, Jacqeline; Vázquez-Mojena, Yaimé; Velázquez-Pérez, Luis; Fernandez-Ruiz, Juan
There are different types of visuomotor learning. Among the most studied is motor error-based learning where the sign and magnitude of the error are used to update motor commands. However, there are other instances where individuals show visuomotor learning even if the sign or magnitude of the error is precluded. Studies with patients suggest that the former learning is impaired after cerebellar lesions, while basal ganglia lesions disrupt the latter. Nevertheless, the cerebellar role is not restricted only to error-based learning, but it also contributes to several cognitive processes. Therefore, here, we tested if cerebellar ataxia patients are affected in two tasks, one that depends on error-based learning and the other that prevents the use of error-based learning. Our results showed that cerebellar patients have deficits in both visuomotor tasks; however, while error-based learning tasks deficits correlated with the motor impairments, the motor error-dependent task did not correlate with any motor measure.
Bigsby, Kathryn; Mangine, Robert E; Clark, Joseph F; Rauch, Joseph T; Bixenmann, Benjamin; Susaret, Antonia W; Hasselfeld, Kimberly A; Colosimo, Angelo J
Visuomotor ability is an important parameter for neurologic function and effective sport performance. Adding a balance challenge during a structured eye-hand coordination task, such as hitting lights on a light board (Dynavision™), has not been previously reported. Using Division I football players, the aim of this study was to determine normative data on a dual-task performance regimen combining a visuomotor light board task with a balance task. The intent is to use such normative data and baseline data as part of a concussion management program. Division I college football team members, n=105, were consented. Subjects first performed Dynavision™ D2™ Visuomotor Training Device (D2™) eye-hand coordination tasks, the A* and the RT; they then performed the same tasks with an added balance challenge, standing on a BOSU® ball. Ninety-four athletes completed the full testing procedure on the D2™ system. The mean score of the A* test was 93 ± 11.0 hits per minute; and the mean on the A* test with the added BOSU® balance challenge was 83.7 ± 9.2 hits per minute. The mean RT time was 0.33 ± 0.036 seconds. Mean reaction time increased to 0.38 ± 0.063 while the subject stood on the BOSU® ball. Performance on the D2™ A* and RT were both statistically significantly different in the dual task condition (pmanagement program. III.
Yong Hyun Kwon
Full Text Available Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS, an emerging technique for non-invasive brain stimulation, is increasingly used to induce changes in cortical excitability and modulate motor behavior, especially for upper limbs. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of tDCS of the primary motor cortex on visuomotor coordination based on three levels of task difficulty in healthy subjects. Thirty-eight healthy participants underwent real tDCS or sham tDCS. Using a single-blind, sham-controlled crossover design, tDCS was applied to the primary motor cortex. For real tDCS conditions, tDCS intensity was 1 mA while stimulation was applied for 15 minutes. For the sham tDCS, electrodes were placed in the same position, but the stimulator was turned off after 5 seconds. Visuomotor tracking task, consisting of three levels (levels 1, 2, 3 of difficulty with higher level indicating greater difficulty, was performed before and after tDCS application. At level 2, real tDCS of the primary motor cortex improved the accurate index compared to the sham tDCS. However, at levels 1 and 3, the accurate index was not significantly increased after real tDCS compared to the sham tDCS. These findings suggest that tasks of moderate difficulty may improve visuomotor coordination in healthy subjects when tDCS is applied compared with easier or more difficult tasks.
Full Text Available Writing is a means of communication which requires complex motor, perceptual and cognitive skills. If one of these abilities gets lost following traumatic events or due to neurological diseases, handwriting could deteriorate. Occupational therapy practitioners provide rehabilitation services for people with impaired handwriting. However, to determine the effectiveness of handwriting interventions no studies assessed whether the proposed treatments improved the kinematics of writing movement or had an effect at the level of the central nervous system. There is need to find new quantitative methodologies able to describe the behavioral and the neural outcomes of the rehabilitative interventions for handwriting. In the present study we proposed a combined approach that allowed evaluating the kinematic parameters of handwriting movements, acquired by means of a magnetic resonance-compatible tablet, and their neural correlates obtained simultaneously from a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI examination. Results showed that the system was reliable in term of reproducibility of the kinematic data during a test/re-test procedure. Further, despite the modifications with respect to an ecological writing movement condition, the kinematic parameters acquired inside the MR-environment were descriptive of individuals’ movement features. At last, the imaging protocol succeeded to show the activation of the cerebral regions associated with the production of writing movement in healthy people. From these findings, this methodology seems to be promising to evaluate the handwriting movement deficits and the potential alterations in the neural activity in those individuals who have handwriting difficulties. Finally, it would provide a mean to quantitatively assess the effect of a rehabilitative treatment.
Bisio, Ambra; Pedullà, Ludovico; Bonzano, Laura; Ruggeri, Piero; Brichetto, Giampaolo; Bove, Marco
Writing is a means of communication which requires complex motor, perceptual, and cognitive skills. If one of these abilities gets lost following traumatic events or due to neurological diseases, handwriting could deteriorate. Occupational therapy practitioners provide rehabilitation services for people with impaired handwriting. However, to determine the effectiveness of handwriting interventions no studies assessed whether the proposed treatments improved the kinematics of writing movement or had an effect at the level of the central nervous system. There is need to find new quantitative methodologies able to describe the behavioral and the neural outcomes of the rehabilitative interventions for handwriting. In the present study we proposed a combined approach that allowed evaluating the kinematic parameters of handwriting movements, acquired by means of a magnetic resonance-compatible tablet, and their neural correlates obtained simultaneously from a functional magnetic resonance imaging examination. Results showed that the system was reliable in term of reproducibility of the kinematic data during a test/re-test procedure. Further, despite the modifications with respect to an ecological writing movement condition, the kinematic parameters acquired inside the MR-environment were descriptive of individuals’ movement features. At last, the imaging protocol succeeded to show the activation of the cerebral regions associated with the production of writing movement in healthy people. From these findings, this methodology seems to be promising to evaluate the handwriting movement deficits and the potential alterations in the neural activity in those individuals who have handwriting difficulties. Finally, it would provide a mean to quantitatively assess the effect of a rehabilitative treatment. PMID:27746727
Full Text Available BBackgrounds: Verification and authentication of the paper-based handwritten prescriptions is of great importance for antineoplastic medications that are good targets for forgery and fraud. Pharmacists usually investigate handwriting, signature and name stamp of prescribers to verify prescriptions in Iran. Anecdotal reports of variations in handwriting and name stamp of physicians who wrote antineoplastic prescriptions raised concerns in this regard. The aim of the study was to investigate the reported diversity and evaluate the quality of writing physician identity and required items in antineoplastic prescriptions.Methods: All insured hand-written prescriptions contained at least one antineoplastic medication and were dispensed by four main authorized community pharmacies dispensing antineoplastic medications in Tehran during one month were included. Prescriptions that were written by specialties other than oncology-related fields were excluded. Prescriptions of each physician were evaluated considering handwriting and name stamp by experienced pharmacy staff and the frequency of detected handwriting and name stamp types was recorded.Results: Of the 11022 included prescriptions, 10944 were eligible and written by 241 physicians. Median (third quartile number of physicians’ prescriptions was 17 (51. Maximum number of observed handwriting and name stamp types were eight and six respectively. High prescribers tended to have several handwriting and name stamp types.Conclusion: The observed diversity and variation in handwriting and name stamp of the physicians in antineoplastic prescriptions may facilitate the entrance of forged prescription and makes fraud detection difficult. Administrative and regulatory interventions in addition to notification of health care professionals about the observed potential might be necessary.
Jongmans, M.J.; Linthorst-Bakker, E.; Westenberg, Y.; Smits-Engelsman, B.C.M.
Two studies were conducted to investigate the effect of a task-specific self-instruction intervention to improve handwriting ability of children with poor handwriting quality in schools for regular education (Study 1) and children with poor handwriting quality in schools for special education (Study
Karimpoor, Mahta; Churchill, Nathan W; Tam, Fred; Fischer, Corinne E; Schweizer, Tom A; Graham, Simon J
Handwriting is a complex human activity that engages a blend of cognitive and visual motor skills. Current understanding of the neural correlates of handwriting has largely come from lesion studies of patients with impaired handwriting. Task-based fMRI studies would be useful to supplement this work. To address concerns over ecological validity, previously we developed a fMRI-compatible, computerized tablet system for writing and drawing including visual feedback of hand position and an augmented reality display. The purpose of the present work is to use the tablet system in proof-of-concept to characterize brain activity associated with clinically relevant handwriting tasks, originally developed to characterize handwriting impairments in Alzheimer's disease patients. As a prelude to undertaking fMRI studies of patients, imaging was performed of twelve young healthy subjects who copied sentences, phone numbers, and grocery lists using the fMRI-compatible tablet. Activation maps for all handwriting tasks consisted of a distributed network of regions in reasonable agreement with previous studies of handwriting performance. In addition, differences in brain activity were observed between the test subcomponents consistent with different demands of neural processing for successful task performance, as identified by investigating three quantitative behavioral metrics (writing speed, stylus contact force and stylus in air time). This study provides baseline behavioral and brain activity results for fMRI studies that adopt this handwriting test to characterize patients with brain impairments.
Full Text Available Handwriting is a complex human activity that engages a blend of cognitive and visual motor skills. Current understanding of the neural correlates of handwriting has largely come from lesion studies of patients with impaired handwriting. Task-based fMRI studies would be useful to supplement this work. To address concerns over ecological validity, previously we developed a fMRI-compatible, computerized tablet system for writing and drawing including visual feedback of hand position and an augmented reality display. The purpose of the present work is to use the tablet system in proof-of-concept to characterize brain activity associated with clinically relevant handwriting tasks, originally developed to characterize handwriting impairments in Alzheimer’s disease patients. As a prelude to undertaking fMRI studies of patients, imaging was performed of twelve young healthy subjects who copied sentences, phone numbers, and grocery lists using the fMRI-compatible tablet. Activation maps for all handwriting tasks consisted of a distributed network of regions in reasonable agreement with previous studies of handwriting performance. In addition, differences in brain activity were observed between the test subcomponents consistent with different demands of neural processing for successful task performance, as identified by investigating three quantitative behavioral metrics (writing speed, stylus contact force and stylus in air time. This study provides baseline behavioral and brain activity results for fMRI studies that adopt this handwriting test to characterize patients with brain impairments.
Overvelde, Anneloes; Hulstijn, Wouter
The wide variation in prevalence of dysgraphic handwriting (5-33%) is of clinical importance, because poor handwriting has been identified as one of the most common reasons for referring school-age children to occupational therapy or physiotherapy, and is included as an criterion for the diagnosis of Developmental Coordination Disorder. This study…
Karimpoor, Mahta; Churchill, Nathan W.; Tam, Fred; Fischer, Corinne E.; Schweizer, Tom A.; Graham, Simon J.
Handwriting is a complex human activity that engages a blend of cognitive and visual motor skills. Current understanding of the neural correlates of handwriting has largely come from lesion studies of patients with impaired handwriting. Task-based fMRI studies would be useful to supplement this work. To address concerns over ecological validity, previously we developed a fMRI-compatible, computerized tablet system for writing and drawing including visual feedback of hand position and an augmented reality display. The purpose of the present work is to use the tablet system in proof-of-concept to characterize brain activity associated with clinically relevant handwriting tasks, originally developed to characterize handwriting impairments in Alzheimer’s disease patients. As a prelude to undertaking fMRI studies of patients, imaging was performed of twelve young healthy subjects who copied sentences, phone numbers, and grocery lists using the fMRI-compatible tablet. Activation maps for all handwriting tasks consisted of a distributed network of regions in reasonable agreement with previous studies of handwriting performance. In addition, differences in brain activity were observed between the test subcomponents consistent with different demands of neural processing for successful task performance, as identified by investigating three quantitative behavioral metrics (writing speed, stylus contact force and stylus in air time). This study provides baseline behavioral and brain activity results for fMRI studies that adopt this handwriting test to characterize patients with brain impairments. PMID:29487511
Hsiao, Hsien-Sheng; Chang, Cheng-Sian; Chen, Chiao-Jia; Wu, Chia-Hou; Lin, Chien-Yu
This study designed and developed a Chinese character handwriting diagnosis and remedial instruction (CHDRI) system to improve Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) learners' ability to write Chinese characters. The CFL learners were given two tests based on the CHDRI system. One test focused on Chinese character handwriting to diagnose the CFL…
Frohlich, Lauren; Wesley, Alison; Wallen, Margaret; Bundy, Anita
Purpose: Pain associated with hypermobility of wrist and hand joints can contribute to decreased handwriting output. This study examined the effectiveness of a neoprene wrist/hand splint in reducing pain and increasing handwriting speed and endurance for students with joint hypermobility syndrome. Methods: Multiple baseline, single system design…
Sumner, Emma; Connelly, Vincent; Barnett, Anna L.
It is commonly assumed that children with dyslexia are slower at handwriting than other children. However, evidence of slow handwriting in children with dyslexia is very mixed. Thirty-one children with dyslexia, aged 9 years, were compared to both age-matched children and younger spelling-ability matched children. Participants completed an…
Khalid, Puspa Inayat; Yunus, Jasmy; Adnan, Robiah; Harun, Mokhtar; Sudirman, Rubita; Mahmood, Nasrul Humaimi
Previous researches on elementary grade handwriting revealed that pupils employ certain strategy when writing or drawing. The relationship between this strategy and the use of graphic rules has been documented but very little research has been devoted to the connection between the use of graphic rules and handwriting proficiency. Thus, this study…
Hatice Kadioglu Ates
Full Text Available We are living in an age where knowledge is rapidly produced and consumed. In this period, the future of the individual and the society depends on accessing, using and producing information. This situation requires a qualified education and first literacy teaching which is the foundation of it. Primary school is the foundation of everything; likewise, the first literacy learning is the foundation of learning (Gunes, Uysal and Tac, 2016. First literacy is to create a new communication and interaction channel for the individual by teaching the symbols of humankind that it created in ten thousand years. Education performs a great miracle by making a seven-year old child comprehend this script that humankind developed in ten thousand years within a seven- or eight-month period (Guleryuz, 2001. It is desired for and expected of the children who start the first grade in primary school at the level of illiteracy to reach the level of basic literacy with qualified first literacy education under the supervision of an effective program, equipped teacher (Sagirli, 2015. Education in cursive handwriting in our country has started in Ataturk era. Ataturk demonstrated examples of the New Turkish Latin Letters on the blackboard with the cursive handwriting. Elderly and young people of the generation of Ataturk era have learned the cursive handwriting very well and used for many years. Many documents of that period such as diplomas, identity cards, registry of deeds etc. have been prepared with cursive handwriting in a clear, cursive and aesthetic form (Gunes, 2006. In our country, it has been decided to start the first literacy education with the cursive handwriting under the scope of the 2004 draft program. For nearly thirteen years, our students are becoming literate with cursive handwriting. There are many studies in literature that examine the opinions of teachers, students, and parents about the cursive handwriting. The aim of the concerned study is to
Full Text Available Abstract Background The present study was aimed at investigating the writing parameters of writer's cramp patients and control subjects during handwriting of a test sentence in the absence of visual control. Methods Eight right-handed patients with writer's cramp and eight healthy volunteers as age-matched control subjects participated in the study. The experimental task consisted in writing a test sentence repeatedly for fifty times on a pressure-sensitive digital board. The subject did not have visual control on his handwriting. The writing performance was stored on a PC and analyzed off-line. Results During handwriting all patients developed a typical dystonic limb posture and reported an increase in muscular tension along the experimental session. The patients were significantly slower than the controls, with lower mean vertical pressure of the pen tip on the paper and they could not reach the endmost letter of the sentence in the given time window. No other handwriting parameter differences were found between the two groups. Conclusion Our findings indicate that during writing in the absence of visual feedback writer's cramp patients are slower and could not reach the endmost letter of the test sentence, but their level of automatization is not impaired and writer's cramp handwriting parameters are similar to those of the controls except for even lower vertical pressure of the pen tip on the paper, which is probably due to a changed strategy in such experimental conditions.
Barnett, Anna L; Wilmut, Kate; Plumb, Mandy S
Introduction There is substantial evidence to support the relationship between transcription skills (handwriting and spelling) and compositional quality. For children with developmental coordination disorder, handwriting can be particularly challenging. While recent research has aimed to investigate their handwriting difficulties in more detail, the impact of transcription on their compositional quality has not previously been examined. The aim of this exploratory study was to examine compositional quality in children with developmental coordination disorder and to ascertain whether their transcription skills influence writing quality. Method Twenty-eight children with developmental coordination disorder participated in the study, with 28 typically developing age and gender matched controls. The children completed the ‘free-writing’ task from the detailed assessment of speed of handwriting tool, which was evaluated for compositional quality using the Wechsler objective language dimensions. Results The children with developmental coordination disorder performed significantly below their typically developing peers on five of the six Wechsler objective language dimensions items. They also had a higher percentage of misspelled words. Regression analyses indicated that the number of words produced per minute and the percentage of misspelled words explained 55% of the variance for compositional quality. Conclusion The handwriting difficulties so commonly reported in children with developmental coordination disorder have wider repercussions for the quality of written composition. PMID:27807392
Komazaki, Y., E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Hirama, H.; Torii, T. [Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8563 (Japan)
In this work, we describe the synthesis of novel electrically and magnetically dual-driven Janus particles for a handwriting-enabled twisting ball display via the microfluidic technique. One hemisphere of the Janus particles contains a charge control agent, which allows the display color to be controlled by applying a voltage and superparamagnetic nanoparticles, allows handwriting by applying a magnetic field to the display. We fabricated a twisting ball display utilizing these Janus particles and tested the electric color control and handwriting using a magnet. As a result, the display was capable of permitting handwriting with a small magnet in addition to conventional color control using an applied voltage (80 V). Handwriting performance was improved by increasing the concentration of superparamagnetic nanoparticles and was determined to be possible even when 80 V was applied across the electrodes for 4 wt. % superparamagnetic nanoparticles in one hemisphere. This improvement was impossible when the concentration was reduced to 2 wt. % superparamagnetic nanoparticles. The technology presented in our work can be applied to low-cost, lightweight, highly visible, and energy-saving electronic message boards and large whiteboards because the large-size display can be fabricated easily due to its simple structure.
Pagliarini, Elena; Guasti, Maria Teresa; Toneatto, Carlo; Granocchio, Elisa; Riva, Federica; Sarti, Daniela; Molteni, Bruna; Stucchi, Natale
In this study, we sought to demonstrate that deficits in a specific motor activity, handwriting, are associated to Developmental Dyslexia. The linguistic and writing performance of children with Developmental Dyslexia, with and without handwriting problems (dysgraphia), were compared to that of children with Typical Development. The quantitative kinematic variables of handwriting were collected by means of a digitizing tablet. The results showed that all children with Developmental Dyslexia wrote more slowly than those with Typical Development. Contrary to typically developing children, they also varied more in the time taken to write the individual letters of a word and failed to comply with the principles of isochrony and homothety. Moreover, a series of correlations was found among reading, language measures and writing measures suggesting that the two abilities may be linked. We propose that the link between handwriting and reading/language deficits is mediated by rhythm, as both reading (which is grounded on language) and handwriting are ruled by principles of rhythmic organization. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Komazaki, Y.; Hirama, H.; Torii, T.
In this work, we describe the synthesis of novel electrically and magnetically dual-driven Janus particles for a handwriting-enabled twisting ball display via the microfluidic technique. One hemisphere of the Janus particles contains a charge control agent, which allows the display color to be controlled by applying a voltage and superparamagnetic nanoparticles, allows handwriting by applying a magnetic field to the display. We fabricated a twisting ball display utilizing these Janus particles and tested the electric color control and handwriting using a magnet. As a result, the display was capable of permitting handwriting with a small magnet in addition to conventional color control using an applied voltage (80 V). Handwriting performance was improved by increasing the concentration of superparamagnetic nanoparticles and was determined to be possible even when 80 V was applied across the electrodes for 4 wt. % superparamagnetic nanoparticles in one hemisphere. This improvement was impossible when the concentration was reduced to 2 wt. % superparamagnetic nanoparticles. The technology presented in our work can be applied to low-cost, lightweight, highly visible, and energy-saving electronic message boards and large whiteboards because the large-size display can be fabricated easily due to its simple structure
Rosenblum, Sara; Margieh, Jumana Aassy; Engel-Yeger, Batya
Developmental coordination disorders (DCD) is one of the most common disorders affecting school-aged children. The study aimed to characterize the handwriting performance of children with DCD who write in Arabic, based on triangular evaluation. Participants included 58 children aged 11-12 years, 29 diagnosed with DCD based on the DSM-IV criteria and the M-ABC, and 29 matched typically developed controls. Children were asked to copy a paragraph on a sheet of paper affixed to a digitizer supplying objective measures of the handwriting process. The handwriting proficiency screening questionnaire (HPSQ) was completed by their teachers while observing their performance and followed by evaluation of their final written product. Results indicated that compared to controls, children with DCD required significantly more on-paper and in-air time per stroke while copying. In addition, global legibility, unrecognizable letters and spatial arrangement measures of their written product were significantly inferior. Significant group differences were also found between the HPSQ subscales scores. Furthermore, 82.8% of all participants were correctly classified into groups based on one discriminate function which included two handwriting performance measures. These study results strongly propose application of triangular standardized evaluation to receive better insight of handwriting deficit features of individual children with DCD who write in Arabic. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Donica, Denise K
This study explores the effectiveness of the Handwriting Without Tears(®) (HWT) kindergarten printing curriculum in general education through a consultative approach with occupational therapy. One cohort of students was the control (n = 19), whereas two other cohorts were experimental groups learning printing through the HWT curriculum (n = 20 each). The Test of Handwriting Skills-Revised (THS-R) was used to collect end-of-year legibility scores for all cohorts. Both experimental groups individually and both experimental groups combined into one group outperformed the control group on all 10 of the THS-R subtests-scoring significantly higher (p handwriting curriculum implementation and the success of HWT for printing instruction. Copyright © 2015 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
Characterizing age from handwriting (HW) has important applications, as it is key to distinguishing normal HW evolution with age from abnormal HW change, potentially triggered by neurodegenerative decline. We propose, in this work, an original approach for online HW style characterization based on a two-level clustering scheme. The first level generates writer-independent word clusters from raw spatial-dynamic HW information. At the second level, each writer's words are converted into a Bag of Prototype Words that is augmented by an interword stability measure. This two-level HW style representation is input to an unsupervised learning technique, aiming at uncovering HW style categories and their correlation with age. To assess the effectiveness of our approach, we propose information theoretic measures to quantify the gain on age information from each clustering layer. We have carried out extensive experiments on a large public online HW database, augmented by HW samples acquired at Broca Hospital in Paris from people mostly between 60 and 85 years old. Unlike previous works claiming that there is only one pattern of HW change with age, our study reveals three major aging HW styles, one specific to aged people and the two others shared by other age groups. PMID:27752277
Drotár, Peter; Mekyska, Jiří; Rektorová, Irena; Masarová, Lucia; Smékal, Zdenek; Faundez-Zanuy, Marcos
Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease affecting significant portion of elderly population. One of the most frequent hallmarks and usually also the first manifestation of PD is deterioration of handwriting characterized by micrographia and changes in kinematics of handwriting. There is no objective quantitative method of clinical diagnosis of PD. It is thought that PD can only be definitively diagnosed at postmortem, which further highlights the complexities of diagnosis. We exploit the fact that movement during handwriting of a text consists not only from the on-surface movements of the hand, but also from the in-air trajectories performed when the hand moves in the air from one stroke to the next. We used a digitizing tablet to assess both in-air and on-surface kinematic variables during handwriting of a sentence in 37 PD patients on medication and 38 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. By applying feature selection algorithms and support vector machine learning methods to separate PD patients from healthy controls, we demonstrated that assessing the in-air/on-surface hand movements led to accurate classifications in 84% and 78% of subjects, respectively. Combining both modalities improved the accuracy by another 1% over the evaluation of in-air features alone and provided medically relevant diagnosis with 85.61% prediction accuracy. Assessment of in-air movements during handwriting has a major impact on disease classification accuracy. This study confirms that handwriting can be used as a marker for PD and can be with advance used in decision support systems for differential diagnosis of PD. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Perez, Monica A.; Lungholt, Bjarke K.S.; Nielsen, Jens Bo
Sensory information continuously converges on the spinal cord during a variety of motor behaviours. Here, we examined presynaptic control of group Ia afferents in relation to acquisition of a novel motor skill. We tested whether repetition of two motor tasks with different degrees of difficulty......, a novel visuo-motor task involving the ankle muscles, and a control task involving simple voluntary ankle movements, would induce changes in the size of the soleus H-reflex. The slope of the H-reflex recruitment curve and the H-max/M-max ratio were depressed after repetition of the visuo-motor skill task...... of the monosynaptic Ia facilitation of the soleus H-reflex evoked by femoral nerve stimulation. The D1 inhibition was increased and the femoral nerve facilitation was decreased following the visuo-motor skill task, suggesting an increase in presynaptic inhibition of Ia afferents. No changes were observed...
Morin, Lawrence P.; Blanchard, Jane H.
The intergeniculate leaflet (IGL), homolog of the primate pregeniculate nucleus, modulates circadian rhythms. However, its extensive anatomical connections suggest that it may regulate other systems, particularly those for visuomotor function and sleep/arousal. Here, descending IGL-efferent pathways are identified with the anterograde tracer, Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin, with projections to over 50 brain stem nuclei. Projections of the ventral lateral geniculate are similar, but more limited. Many of the nuclei with IGL afferents contribute to circuitry governing visuomotor function. These include the oculomotor, trochlear, anterior pretectal, Edinger-Westphal, and the terminal nuclei; all layers of the superior colliculus, interstitial nucleus of the medial longitudinal fasciculus, supraoculomotor periaqueductal gray, nucleus of the optic tract, the inferior olive, and raphe interpositus. Other target nuclei are known to be involved in the regulation of sleep, including the lateral dorsal and pedunculopontine tegmentum. The dorsal raphe also receives projections from the IGL and may contribute to both sleep/arousal and visuomotor function. However, the locus coeruleus and medial vestibular nucleus, which contribute to sleep and eye movement regulation and which send projections to the IGL, do not receive reciprocal projections from it. The potential involvement of the IGL with the sleep/arousal system is further buttressed by existing evidence showing IGL-efferent projections to the ventrolateral preoptic area, dorsomedial, and medial tuberal hypothalamus. In addition, the great majority of all regions receiving IGL projections also receive input from the orexin/hypocretin system, suggesting that this system contributes not only to the regulation of sleep, but to eye movement control as well.
Derek B. Archer
Full Text Available Modulating visual feedback may be a viable option to improve motor function after stroke, but the neurophysiological basis for this improvement is not clear. Visual gain can be manipulated by increasing or decreasing the spatial amplitude of an error signal. Here, we combined a unilateral visually guided grip force task with functional MRI to understand how changes in the gain of visual feedback alter brain activity in the chronic phase after stroke. Analyses focused on brain activation when force was produced by the most impaired hand of the stroke group as compared to the non-dominant hand of the control group. Our experiment produced three novel results. First, gain-related improvements in force control were associated with an increase in activity in many regions within the visuomotor network in both the stroke and control groups. These regions include the extrastriate visual cortex, inferior parietal lobule, ventral premotor cortex, cerebellum, and supplementary motor area. Second, the stroke group showed gain-related increases in activity in additional regions of lobules VI and VIIb of the ipsilateral cerebellum. Third, relative to the control group, the stroke group showed increased activity in the ipsilateral primary motor cortex, and activity in this region did not vary as a function of visual feedback gain. The visuomotor network, cerebellum, and ipsilateral primary motor cortex have each been targeted in rehabilitation interventions after stroke. Our observations provide new insight into the role these regions play in processing visual gain during a precisely controlled visuomotor task in the chronic phase after stroke.
Martinetz, T M; Ritter, H J; Schulten, K J
An extension of T. Kohonen's (1982) self-organizing mapping algorithm together with an error-correction scheme based on the Widrow-Hoff learning rule is applied to develop a learning algorithm for the visuomotor coordination of a simulated robot arm. Learning occurs by a sequence of trial movements without the need for an external teacher. Using input signals from a pair of cameras, the closed robot arm system is able to reduce its positioning error to about 0.3% of the linear dimensions of its work space. This is achieved by choosing the connectivity of a three-dimensional lattice consisting of the units of the neural net.
Full Text Available Studies on human recalibration of perceived visuo-motor simultaneity so far have been limited to the study of recalibration to movement-lead temporal discrepancies (visual lags. We studied adaptation to both vision-lead and movement-lead discrepancies, to test for differences between these conditions, as a leading visual stimulus violates the underlying cause-effect structure. To this end, we manipulated the temporal relationship between a motor action (button press and a visual event (flashed disk in a training phase. Participants were tested in a temporal order judgment task and perceived simultaneity (PSS was compared before and after recalibration. A PHANToM© force-feedback device that tracks the finger position in real time was used to display a virtual button. We predicted the timing of full compression of the button from early movement onset in order to time visual stimuli even before the movement event of the full button press. The results show that recalibration of perceived visuo-motor simultaneity is evident in both directions and does not differ in magnitude between the conditions. The strength of recalibration decreases with perceptual accuracy, suggesting the possibility that some participants recalibrate less because they detect the discrepancy. We conclude that the mechanisms of temporal recalibration work in both direction and there is no evidence that they are asymmetrical around the point of actual simultaneity, despite the underlying asymmetry in the cause-effect relation.
Brokaw, E B; Fine, M S; Kindschi, K E; Santago Ii, A C; Lum, P S; Higgins, M
Repeated mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) has been associated with increased risk of degenerative neurological disorders. While the effects of mTBI and repeated injury are known, studies have only recently started examining repeated subconcussive impacts, impacts that do not result in a clinically diagnosed mTBI. In these studies, repeated subconcussive impacts have been connected to cognitive performance and brain imaging changes. Recent research suggests that performance on a visuomotor tracking (VMT) task may help improve the identification of mTBI. The goal of this study was to investigate if VMT performance is sensitive to the cumulative effect of repeated subconcussive head impacts in collegiate men's lacrosse players. A cross-sectional, prospective study was completed with eleven collegiate men's lacrosse players. Participants wore helmet-mounted sensors and completed VMT and reaction time assessments. The relationship between cumulative impact metrics and VMT metrics were investigated. In this study, VMT performance correlated with repeated subconcussive head impacts; individuals approached clinically diagnosed mTBI-like performance as the cumulative rotational velocity they experienced increased. This suggests that repeated subconcussive impacts can result in measurable impairments and indicates that visuomotor tracking performance may be a useful tool for monitoring the effects of repeated subconcussive impacts.
Saccone, Elizabeth J; Szpak, Ancret; Churches, Owen; Nicholls, Michael E R
Research suggests that the human brain codes manipulable objects as possibilities for action, or affordances, particularly objects close to the body. Near-body space is not only a zone for body-environment interaction but also is socially relevant, as we are driven to preserve our near-body, personal space from others. The current, novel study investigated how close proximity of a stranger modulates visuomotor processing of object affordances in shared, social space. Participants performed a behavioural object recognition task both alone and with a human confederate. All object images were in participants' reachable space but appeared relatively closer to the participant or the confederate. Results revealed when participants were alone, objects in both locations produced an affordance congruency effect but when the confederate was present, only objects nearer the participant elicited the effect. Findings suggest space is divided between strangers to preserve independent near-body space boundaries, and in turn this process influences motor coding for stimuli within that social space. To demonstrate that this visuomotor modulation represents a social phenomenon, rather than a general, attentional effect, two subsequent experiments employed nonhuman joint conditions. Neither a small, Japanese, waving cat statue (Experiment 2) nor a metronome (Experiment 3) modulated the affordance effect as in Experiment 1. These findings suggest a truly social explanation of the key interaction from Experiment 1. This study represents an important step toward understanding object affordance processing in real-world, social contexts and has implications broadly across fields of social action and cognition, and body space representation.
Kasuga, Shoko; Ushiba, Junichi
Humans have a flexible motor ability to adapt their movements to changes in the internal/external environment. For example, using arm-reaching tasks, a number of studies experimentally showed that participants adapt to a novel visuomotor environment. These results helped develop computational models of motor learning implemented in the central nervous system. Despite the importance of such experimental paradigms for exploring the mechanisms of motor learning, because of the cost and preparation time, most students are unable to participate in such experiments. Therefore, in the current study, to help students better understand motor learning theories, we developed a simple finger-reaching experimental system using commonly used laptop PC components with an open-source programming language (Processing Motor Learning Toolkit: PMLT). We found that compared to a commercially available robotic arm-reaching device, our PMLT accomplished similar learning goals (difference in the error reduction between the devices, P = 0.10). In addition, consistent with previous reports from visuomotor learning studies, the participants showed after-effects indicating an adaptation of the motor learning system. The results suggest that PMLT can serve as a new experimental system for an undergraduate laboratory exercise of motor learning theories with minimal time and cost for instructors.
Haberkamp, Anke; Schmidt, Thomas
Numerous studies have identified attentional biases and processing enhancements for fear-relevant stimuli in individuals with specific phobias. However, this has not been conclusively shown in blood-injury-injection (BII) phobia, which has rarely been investigated even though it has features distinct from all other specific phobias. The present study aims to fill that gap and compares the time-course of visuomotor processing of phobic stimuli (i.e., pictures of small injuries) in BII-fearful (n=19) and non-anxious control participants (n=23) by using a response priming paradigm. In BII-fearful participants, phobic stimuli produced larger priming effects and lower response times compared to neutral stimuli, whereas non-anxious control participants showed no such differences. Because these effects are fully present in the fastest responses, they indicate an enhancement in early visuomotor processing of injury pictures in BII-fearful participants. These results are comparable to the enhanced processing of phobic stimuli in other specific phobias (i.e., spider phobia). Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Romano, Daniele; Caffa, Elisa; Hernandez-Arieta, Alejandro; Brugger, Peter; Maravita, Angelo
The representation of one's own body sets the border of the self, but also shapes the space where we interact with external objects. Under particular conditions, such as in the rubber hand illusion external objects can be incorporated in one's own body representation, following congruent visuo-tactile stroking of one's own and a fake hand. This procedure induces an illusory sense of ownership for the fake hand and a shift of proprioceptive localization of the own hand towards the fake hand. Here we investigated whether pure visuo-motor, instead of visuo-tactile, congruency between one's own hand and a detached myoelectric-controlled robotic hand can induce similar embodiment effects. We found a shift of proprioceptive hand localization toward the robot hand, only following synchronized real hand/robot hand movements. Notably, no modulation was found of the sense of ownership following either synchronous or asynchronous-movement training. Our findings suggest that visuo-motor synchrony can drive the localization of one's own body parts in space, even when somatosensory input is kept constant and the experience of body ownership is maintained. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fitzgibbon, Bernadette M; Kirkovski, Melissa; Fornito, Alex; Paton, Bryan; Fitzgerald, Paul B; Enticott, Peter G
Recent neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that activation of the putative human mirror neuron system (MNS) can be elicited via visuomotor training. This is generally interpreted as supporting an associative learning account of the mirror neuron system (MNS) that argues against the ontogeny of the MNS to be an evolutionary adaptation for social cognition. The current study assessed whether a central component of social cognition, emotion processing, would influence the MNS activity to trained visuomotor associations, which could support a broader role of the MNS in social cognition. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we assessed repetition suppression to the presentation of stimulus pairs involving a simple hand action and a geometric shape that was either congruent or incongruent with earlier association training. Each pair was preceded by an image of positive, negative, or neutral emotionality. In support of an associative learning account of the MNS, repetition suppression was greater for trained pairs compared with untrained pairs in several regions, primarily supplementary motor area (SMA) and right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG). This response, however, was not modulated by the valence of the emotional images. These findings argue against a fundamental role of emotion processing in the mirror neuron response, and are inconsistent with theoretical accounts linking mirror neurons to social cognition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mantua, Janna; Baran, Bengi; Spencer, Rebecca M C
Sleep is beneficial for performance across a range of memory tasks in young adults, but whether memories are similarly consolidated in older adults is less clear. Performance benefits have been observed following sleep in older adults for declarative learning tasks, but this benefit may be reduced for non-declarative, motor skill learning tasks. To date, studies of sleep-dependent consolidation of motor learning in older adults are limited to motor sequence tasks. To examine whether reduced sleep-dependent consolidation in older adults is generalizable to other forms of motor skill learning, we examined performance changes over intervals of sleep and wake in young (n = 62) and older adults (n = 61) using a mirror-tracing task, which assesses visuo-motor adaptation learning. Participants learned the task either in the morning or in evening, and performance was assessed following a 12-h interval containing overnight sleep or daytime wake. Contrary to our prediction, both young adults and older adults exhibited sleep-dependent gains in visuo-motor adaptation. There was a correlation between performance improvement over sleep and percent of the night in non-REM stage 2 sleep. These results indicate that motor skill consolidation remains intact with increasing age although this relationship may be limited to specific forms of motor skill learning.
Full Text Available In this paper we review and integrate a set of findings on learning the transformation of a sliding first-order lever, a type of tool with a prominent role in minimal access surgery. Its kinematic transformation is characterized by the so-called fulcrum effect, the inversion of the movement direction of the tip of the lever relative to that of the hand for rotations. A second characteristic is gain anisotropy, which results in curved paths of the tip of the lever for straight paths of the hand and vice versa. An internal model of the kinematic transformation is acquired during practice, the accuracy of which can be assessed in visual open-loop test trials. The accuracy of the acquired internal model is enhanced when visual closed-loop control during practice is impeded, and the accuracy of the internal model is reduced when closed-loop control during practice is facilitated. The internal model consists of a rapidly acquired line-symmetric approximation to the transformation of the sliding lever and a slowly acquired fine tuning. The fine tuning is local, that is, it is specific for the region of the workspace encountered during practice. The internal model is transferred to other regions of the workspace, but not adjusted to the fine tuning appropriate for these regions. Whereas the symmetry approximation is most likely explicit, the fine tuning seems to be represented implicitly. Findings on the straightness of the paths of the tip of the lever and the hand suggest that the internal model of the transformation is confined to initial and final positions of aimed movements, whereas their path is not strictly controlled, but affected by the dynamic transformation of the tool. Only when visual closed-loop control is possible, the path of the effective part of the tool is straightened. These characteristics of the internal model of the sliding first-order lever and its acquisition may be partly specific to sufficiently complex extrinsic
Yanikoglu, Berrin; Gogus, Aytac; Inal, Emre
Learning through modules on a tablet helps students participate effectively in learning activities in classrooms and provides flexibility in the learning process. This study presents the design and evaluation of an application that is based on handwriting recognition technologies and e-content for the developed learning modules. The application…
Trester, Mary Fran
Suggested is a sequence of 11 class activities, progressing from gross to fine motor skills, to assist the development of skills required to perform handwriting tasks successfully, for use particularly with children who lack fine motor control and eye-hand coordination. (KW)
Lifchitz, A.; Maire, F.
Most online cursive handwriting recognition systems use a lexical constraint to help improve the recognition performance. Traditionally, the vocabulary lexicon is stored in a trie (automaton whose underlying graph is a tree). In this paper, we propose a solution based on a more compact data
Agrawal, M.; Bali, K.; Madhvanath, S.; Vuurpijl, L.G.
This paper introduces our efforts to create UPX, an XML-based successor to the venerable UNIPEN format for the representation of annotated datasets of online handwriting data. In the first part of the paper, shortcomins of the UNIPEN format are dicussed and the goals of UPX are outlined. Prior work
Mogey, Nora; Paterson, Jessie; Burk, John; Purcell, Michael
Students at the University of Edinburgh do almost all their work on computers, but at the end of the semester they are examined by handwritten essays. Intuitively it would be appealing to allow students the choice of handwriting or typing, but this raises a concern that perhaps this might not be "fair"--that the choice a student makes,…
Mogey, Nora; Fluck, Andrew
It seems anachronistic that we expect students to handwrite essay examinations when almost all their other work is mediated by computer. Two universities, one in the UK and one in Australia, are exploring the use of computers in free text response examinations. This paper compares both the attitudes and the behaviours of their students concerning…
Elementary school students spend less time learning cursive handwriting than they did in years past. The declining emphasis on cursive writing has been attributed to the increasing use of technology, the growing proportion of class time spent preparing for standardized tests, and the perception that the time students spend learning to write in…
Prunty, Mellissa M; Barnett, Anna L; Wilmut, Kate; Plumb, Mandy S
Handwriting difficulties are often included in descriptions of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). They are cited as the most common reason for referral to health professionals following parent and teacher concerns about slow and untidy writing. The aim of this study was to compare handwriting performance in English children with and without DCD across a range of writing tasks, to gain a better understanding of the nature of 'slowness' so commonly reported. Twenty-eight 8-14 year-old children with a diagnosis of DCD participated in the study, with 28 typically developing age and gender matched controls. Participants completed the four handwriting tasks from the Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting (DASH) and wrote their own name; all on a digitising writing tablet. The number of words written, speed of pen movements and the time spent pausing during the tasks were calculated. The findings confirmed what many professionals report, that children with DCD produce less text than their peers. However, this was not due to slow movement execution, but rather a higher percentage of time spent pausing. Discussion centres on the understanding of the pausing phenomenon in children with DCD and areas for further research. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Tabatabaey-Mashadi, Narges; Sudirman, Rubita; Guest, Richard M.; Khalid, Puspa Inayat
Children's dynamic drawing strategies have been recently recognized as indicators of handwriting ability. However the influence of each feature in predicting handwriting is unknown due to lack of a measuring system. An automated measuring algorithm suitable for psychological assessment and non-subjective scoring is presented here. Using the weight vector and classification rate of a machine learning algorithm, an overall feature's effect is calculated which is comparable in different groupings. In this study thirteen previously detected drawing strategy features are measured for their influence on handwriting and gender. Features are extracted from drawing a triangle, Beery VMI and Bender Gestalt tangent patterns. Samples are related to 203 pupils (77 below average writers, and 101 female). The results show that the number of strokes in drawing the triangle pattern plays a major role in both groupings; however Left Tendency flag feature is affected by children's handwriting about 2.5 times greater than their gender. Experiments indicate that different forms of a feature sometimes show different influences.
Kulvicius, Tomas; Ning, K.; Tamosiunaite, M.
to simulated handwriting generation, which are also shown on a robot, where an adaptive algorithm is used to learn trajectories from human demonstration. These results demonstrate that the new method is a feasible alternative for joining of movement sequences, which has a high potential for all robotics...
Stroik, Linda R.
The purpose of this quantitative quasi-experimental group comparison study using a repeated measures comparison group design with random assignment of subjects to groups was to investigate the effects of handwriting instruction on reading progress for learners in grade 1 and grade 2. At three points in time, the number of words each student read…
Problems with handwriting can negatively impact the writing of students with learning disabilities. In this article, an example is provided of a fourth-grade special education teacher's efforts to assist a new student by using a problem-solving approach to help determine an efficient course of action for special education teachers who are trying…
Khatun, Nazma; Miwa, Jouji
This research project was aimed to develop an intelligent Bengali handwriting education system to improve the literacy level in Bangladesh. Due to the socio-economical limitation, all of the population does not have the chance to go to school. Here, we developed a prototype of web-based (iPhone/smartphone or computer browser) intelligent…
Puranik, Cynthia S.; AlOtaiba, Stephanie
In this study, we examined the development of beginning writing skills in kindergarten children and the contribution of spelling and handwriting to these writing skills after accounting for early language, literacy, cognitive skills, and student characteristics. Two hundred and forty two children were given a battery of cognitive, oral language,…
Polichino, Jean E.
Handwriting has historically played a significant role in the services provided by occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants working in schools. Reflecting on nearly three decades of school practice, an occupational therapy administrator considers how this niche developed and how it positions occupational therapy practitioners to…
Jill A. Nye
Full Text Available Background: This study was designed to explore the perceived needs of kindergarten teachers as well as the supports they require in preparing children for success in the area of handwriting. Methods: A phenomenological research design was used and nine kindergarten teachers employed at four elementary schools in a school district in Illinois participated in the study. Semi-structured interviews were completed to discuss the perceptions of teachers related to challenges they face and the supports they require in promoting the occupational task of handwriting among the children in their classrooms. Results: The results from this pilot study revealed that overall the teachers felt that the lack of a curriculum and formalized training impacted their teaching practices related to handwriting instruction. Conclusion: The teachers stated that gaps in their knowledge base relating to developmental progression, the ability to assist struggling students, an awareness of strategies to use, and the IEP process contributed to their challenges in teaching handwriting to kindergarten students.
Chen, Jin; Cheng, Wen; Lopresti, Daniel
Since real data is time-consuming and expensive to collect and label, researchers have proposed approaches using synthetic variations for the tasks of signature verification, speaker authentication, handwriting recognition, keyword spotting, etc. However, the limitation of real data is particularly critical in the field of writer identification in that in forensics, adversaries cannot be expected to provide sufficient data to train a classifier. Therefore, it is unrealistic to always assume sufficient real data to train classifiers extensively for writer identification. In addition, this field differs from many others in that we strive to preserve as much inter-writer variations, but model-perturbed handwriting might break such discriminability among writers. Building on work described in another paper where human subjects were involved in calibrating realistic-looking transformation, we then measured the effects of incorporating perturbed handwriting into the training dataset. Experimental results justified our hypothesis that with limited real data, model-perturbed handwriting improved the performance of writer identification. Particularly, if only one single sample for each writer was available, incorporating perturbed data achieved a 36x performance gain.
Bonneton-Botté, Nathalie; Bara, Florence; Marec-Breton, Nathalie; De La Haye-Nicolas, Fanny; Gonthier, Corentin
The objective of this study was to confirm the existence of knowledge relating to the cursive writing movement for French pupils in 3rd year of kindergarten, 2nd grade and 5th grade of elementary school. 141 pupils were asked to watch a visual presentation of cursive handwriting to determine whether they were able to detect violations of two rules…
Shah, Lalit J.; Gladson, Beth L.
To be successful in school, it is important for students to be able to communicate to teachers what they know and have learned through exams, papers, daily assignments, and projects. The primary way students display this knowledge during these tasks is in written form, and thus, the skill of handwriting is essential. School-based occupational…
The aim of this study is to determine the primary school pre-service teachers' attitude toward cursive handwriting and to determine whether a significant difference exists among those pre-service teachers' attitude with respect to gender, class and their universities. In order to collect data "Scale for Attitude towards Cursive…
Peverly, Stephen T.; Garner, Joanna K.; Vekaria, Pooja C.
The primary purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the relationship of handwriting speed, fine motor fluency, speed of verbal access, language comprehension, working memory, and attention (executive control; selective) to note-taking and all of the aforementioned variables to test performance (written recall). A second purpose was to…
Longobardi, Emiddia; Spataro, Pietro; Pizzicannella, Emiliano
Previous studies with English-speaking children showed that handwriting and spelling abilities played a critical role in the development of writing fluency and quality, particularly during the transition from the kindergarten to primary school; in contrast, studies dealing with orthographically transparent languages found small or no relations…
Hartman, A.; van den Bos, C.; van Dartel, N.; Stijnen, Th; Pieters, R.
Long-term writing difficulties in children after treatment with vincristine for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Wilms tumor, B non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and malignant mesenchymal tumors, were investigated. Handwriting of 33 survivors and 33 controls matched for age, sex, and grade, was assessed with the
Brillenburg Wurth, Kiene
In this article, I focus on primary entanglements as the co-materialization of the verbal and visual in contemporary literary handwriting. As we will see, this is a special kind of writing. It is a writing meant to be seen and engaged with as matter. It tends to be non-linear and almost completely
The central purpose of this study was to analyze the dynamics of handwriting movements in real time for Spanish students in early grades with and without learning disabilities. The sample consisted of 120 children from Grades 1 through 3 (primary education), classified into two groups: with learning disabilities and without learning disabilities.…
Tsai, Chen-hui; Kuo, Chin-Hwa; Horng, Wen-Bing; Chen, Chun-Wen
This paper reports on a study that investigates how different learning methods might affect the learning process of character handwriting among beginning college learners of Chinese, as measured by tests of recognition, approximate production, precise production, and awareness of conventional stroke sequence. Two methodologies were examined during…
Full Text Available Planning ahead and organizational abilities in time and space are ingredients of high-level cognitive functions labelled as ‘Executive Functions’ (EF required for daily activities such as writing or home management. EF deficits are considered a possible underlying brain mechanism involved in Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD. The aim of the study was to compare the handwriting process measures and the planning and organizational abilities in space and time of students with DCD with those of matched controls and to find whether handwriting measures can predict daily planning and organizational abilities among students with DCD. Method: 30 students diagnosed with DCD, between the ages of 24-41, and 30 age- and gender-matched controls participated in the study. They filled out the Handwriting Proficiency Screening Questionnaire (HPSQ and the Adult Developmental Co-ordination Disorders Checklist (ADC. Furthermore, they copied a paragraph on a digitizer that is part of a computerized system (ComPET.Results: Significant group differences were found for the HPSQ subscales scores as well as for the temporal and spatial measures of the paragraph copy task. Significant group differences were also found for the planning and organizational abilities in space and time as reflected through the ADC subscales. Significant medium correlations were found in both groups between the mean HPSQ time subscale and the ADC-B subscale mean score (r=.50 /.58 p<.05. Series of regression analyses indicated that two handwriting performance measures (mean HPSQ time subscale and mean stroke duration predicted 19% of planning and organizational abilities as reflected through daily functions (ADC-B (F (3, 54 = 38.37, β= . 40 p<.0001.Conclusion: The results support previous evidence about EF deficits as an underlying brain mechanism involved in motor coordination disorders, their significance as related to theoretical models of handwriting and daily function among
Planning ahead and organizational abilities in time and space are ingredients of high-level cognitive functions labeled as ‘Executive Functions’ (EF) required for daily activities such as writing or home management. EF deficits are considered a possible underlying brain mechanism involved in Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD). The aim: of the study was to compare the handwriting process measures and the planning and organizational abilities in space and time of students with DCD with those of matched controls and to find whether handwriting measures can predict daily planning and organizational abilities among students with DCD. Method: 30 students diagnosed with DCD, between the ages of 24–41, and 30 age- and gender-matched controls participated in the study. They filled out the Handwriting Proficiency Screening Questionnaire (HPSQ) and the Adult Developmental Co-ordination Disorders Checklist (ADC). Furthermore, they copied a paragraph on a digitizer that is part of a computerized system Computerised Penmanship Evaluation Toll (ComPET). Results: Significant group differences were found for the HPSQ subscales scores as well as for the temporal and spatial measures of the paragraph copy task. Significant group differences were also found for the planning and organizational abilities in space and time as reflected through the ADC subscales. Significant medium correlations were found in both groups between the mean HPSQ time subscale and the ADC-B subscale mean score (r = 0.50/0.58, p handwriting performance measures (mean HPSQ time subscale and mean stroke duration) predicted 19% of planning and organizational abilities as reflected through daily functions (ADC-B) [F(3, 54) = 38.37, β = 0.40, p handwriting and daily function among DCD will be examined. PMID:23805113
Full Text Available Visuomotor coordination is reffered to eye coordination and to various parts of the body in different activities and games. The aim of the research was to establish the influence of the exercises of gross and fine motor skills on visuomotor coordination of the cerebral palsy children. The sample was the case study where a male person of 3 and a half years old was an examinee. Measuring instrument used was the Test of visuomotor coordination of the gross motor skills of the dominant hand. Data were analyzed by t-test.
Barton, Jason J S; Fox, Christopher J; Sekunova, Alla; Iaria, Giuseppe
Written texts are not just words but complex multidimensional stimuli, including aspects such as case, font, and handwriting style, for example. Neuropsychological reports suggest that left fusiform lesions can impair the reading of text for word (lexical) content, being associated with alexia, whereas right-sided lesions may impair handwriting recognition. We used fMRI adaptation in 13 healthy participants to determine if repetition-suppression occurred for words but not handwriting in the left visual word form area (VWFA) and the reverse in the right fusiform gyrus. Contrary to these expectations, we found adaptation for handwriting but not for words in both the left VWFA and the right VWFA homologue. A trend to adaptation for words but not handwriting was seen only in the left middle temporal gyrus. An analysis of anterior and posterior subdivisions of the left VWFA also failed to show any adaptation for words. We conclude that the right and the left fusiform gyri show similar patterns of adaptation for handwriting, consistent with a predominantly perceptual contribution to text processing.
Granek, Joshua A; Gorbet, Diana J; Sergio, Lauren E
Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we examined the effect of video-game experience on the neural control of increasingly complex visuomotor tasks. Previously, skilled individuals have demonstrated the use of a more efficient movement control brain network, including the prefrontal, premotor, primary sensorimotor and parietal cortices. Our results extend and generalize this finding by documenting additional prefrontal cortex activity in experienced video gamers planning for complex eye-hand coordination tasks that are distinct from actual video-game play. These changes in activation between non-gamers and extensive gamers are putatively related to the increased online control and spatial attention required for complex visually guided reaching. These data suggest that the basic cortical network for processing complex visually guided reaching is altered by extensive video-game play. Crown Copyright © 2009. Published by Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.
Haberkamp, Anke; Schmidt, Filipp; Schmidt, Thomas
This study investigates enhanced visuomotor processing of phobic compared to fear-relevant and neutral stimuli. We used a response priming design to measure rapid, automatic motor activation by natural images (spiders, snakes, mushrooms, and flowers) in spider-fearful, snake-fearful, and control participants. We found strong priming effects in all tasks and conditions; however, results showed marked differences between groups. Most importantly, in the group of spider-fearful individuals, spider pictures had a strong and specific influence on even the fastest motor responses: Phobic primes entailed the largest priming effects, and phobic targets accelerated responses, both effects indicating speeded response activation by phobic images. In snake-fearful participants, this processing enhancement for phobic material was less pronounced and extended to both snake and spider images. We conclude that spider phobia leads to enhanced processing capacity for phobic images. We argue that this is enabled by long-term perceptual learning processes. © 2013.
A novel neural network approach to robot hand-eye coordination is presented. The approach provides a true sense of visual error servoing, redundant arm configuration control for collision avoidance, and invariant visuo-motor learning under gazing control. A 3-D perception network is introduced to represent the robot internal 3-D metric space in which visual error servoing and arm configuration control are performed. The arm kinematic network performs the bidirectional association between 3-D space arm configurations and joint angles, and enforces the legitimate arm configurations. The arm kinematic net is structured by a radial-based competitive and cooperative network with hierarchical self-organizing learning. The main goal of the present work is to demonstrate that the neural net representation of the robot 3-D perception net serves as an important intermediate functional block connecting robot eyes and arms.
Walter, J A; Schulten, K I
The implementation of two neural network algorithms for visuo-motor control of an industrial robot (Puma 562) is reported. The first algorithm uses a vector quantization technique, the ;neural-gas' network, together with an error correction scheme based on a Widrow-Hoff-type learning rule. The second algorithm employs an extended self-organizing feature map algorithm. Based on visual information provided by two cameras, the robot learns to position its end effector without an external teacher. Within only 3000 training steps, the robot-camera system is capable of reducing the positioning error of the robot's end effector to approximately 0.1% of the linear dimension of the work space. By employing adaptive feedback the robot succeeds in compensating not only slow calibration drifts, but also sudden changes in its geometry. Hardware aspects of the robot-camera system are discussed.
Botzer, Lior; Karniel, Amir
It has been suggested that the brain and in particular the cerebellum and motor cortex adapt to represent the environment during reaching movements under various visuomotor perturbations. It is well known that significant delay is present in neural conductance and processing; however, the possible representation of delay and adaptation to delayed visual feedback has been largely overlooked. Here we investigated the control of reaching movements in human subjects during an imposed visuomotor delay in a virtual reality environment. In the first experiment, when visual feedback was unexpectedly delayed, the hand movement overshot the end-point target, indicating a vision-based feedback control. Over the ensuing trials, movements gradually adapted and became accurate. When the delay was removed unexpectedly, movements systematically undershot the target, demonstrating that adaptation occurred within the vision-based feedback control mechanism. In a second experiment designed to broaden our understanding of the underlying mechanisms, we revealed similar after-effects for rhythmic reversal (out-and-back) movements. We present a computational model accounting for these results based on two adapted forward models, each tuned for a specific modality delay (proprioception or vision), and a third feedforward controller. The computational model, along with the experimental results, refutes delay representation in a pure forward vision-based predictor and suggests that adaptation occurred in the forward vision-based predictor, and concurrently in the state-based feedforward controller. Understanding how the brain compensates for conductance and processing delays is essential for understanding certain impairments concerning these neural delays as well as for the development of brain-machine interfaces. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Attribution of agency involves the ability to distinguish our own actions and their sensory consequences which are self-generated from those generated by external agents. There are several pathological cases in which motor awareness is dramatically impaired. On the other hand, awareness-enhancement practices like tai-chi and yoga are shown to improve perceptual-motor awareness. Meditation is known to have positive impacts on perception, attention and consciousness itself, but it is still unclear how meditation changes sensorimotor integration processes and awareness of action. The aim of this study was to investigate how visuomotor performance and self-agency is modulated by mindfulness meditation. This was done by studying meditators’ performance during a conflicting reaching task, where the congruency between actions and their consequences is gradually altered. This task was presented to novices in meditation before and after an intensive 8 weeks mindfulness meditation training (MBSR. The data of this sample was compared to a group of long-term meditators and a group of healthy non-meditators. Results Mindfulness resulted in a significant improvement in motor control during perceptual-motor conflict in both groups. Novices in mindfulness demonstrated a strongly increased sensitivity to detect external perturbation after the MBSR intervention. Both mindfulness groups demonstrated a speed/accuracy trade-off in comparison to their respective controls. This resulted in slower and more accurate movements. Conclusions Our results suggest that mindfulness meditation practice is associated with slower body movements which in turn may lead to an increase in monitoring of body states and optimized re-adjustment of movement trajectory, and consequently to better motor performance. This extended conscious monitoring of perceptual and motor cues may explain how, while dealing with perceptual-motor conflict, improvement in motor
de Boer, Casper; Mattace-Raso, Francesco; van der Steen, Johannes; Pel, Johan J M
In diagnostics of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) questionnaire is frequently used to test cognitive decline. The final subtest of the MMSE, in which patients have to copy two interlocking pentagons, tests a variety of visuomotor functions. Recent imaging studies suggest that visuomotor function could decline in early stage AD, as a result of degeneration of the brain networks involved. The goal of the present study was to compare memory and visuomotor function in AD patients, reflected by the MMSE subscores for orientation, recall and interlocking pentagons. The MMSE subscores for orientation, recall and interlocking pentagons of 125 AD patients was extracted from their medical history. Patients were divided into three groups based on disease duration. Using related-samples Wilcoxon signed-rank tests, the performance between subtests using normalized subscores was compared within each group. In all three groups, the subscores of recall and interlocking pentagons were significantly lower than orientation. No differences were found between the subscores of recall and interlocking pentagons. The presented data suggest that memory function and visuomotor function are equally impaired in the present study population. This could indicate that visuomotor dysfunction might be a more important clinical feature of AD than is currently assumed. This knowledge can be used to develop new tests and markers for AD reflecting deficits in visuomotor functions, such as quantification of eye and hand movements. © 2013 Japan Geriatrics Society.
Children with Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD) exhibit deficient daily performance concealed in their perception-action mechanism. The aim of this study was to analyze behavior organization of children with DCD, in varied tasks that require generating and monitoring mental representations related to space and time inputs/requirements, for achieving better insight about their perception-action mechanism. Participants included 42 children aged 7-10, half of whom were defined with DCD and half were typically developing (TD). The children were matched for age, gender and school. They were evaluated using the Movement-ABC and performed three handwriting tasks on an electronic tablet that is part of a computerized system (ComPET - Computerized Penmanship Evaluation Tool). In addition, their teachers completed the Questionnaire for Assessing Students' Organizational Abilities-Teachers (QASOA-T) to assess the children's daily organizational ability. Significant group differences (DCD versus controls) were found for all handwriting kinematic measures across the three handwriting tasks and for the children's organizational abilities. Motor ability predicted a considerable percentage of the variance of the kinematic handwriting measures (30-37%), as well as a high percentage of the variance of their organizational abilities (67%). The coefficient of variance of the pen tilt added an additional 3% to the prediction of their organizational abilities. The results of this study exhibited deficient ability among children with DCD in organizing their behavior in varied real-world tasks requiring generation and monitoring representation related to space and time. The significance of the results to understanding the performance mechanism and implication to the clinical field are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Planton, Samuel; Jucla, Mélanie; Roux, Franck-Emmanuel; Démonet, Jean-François
Handwriting is a modality of language production whose cerebral substrates remain poorly known although the existence of specific regions is postulated. The description of brain damaged patients with agraphia and, more recently, several neuroimaging studies suggest the involvement of different brain regions. However, results vary with the methodological choices made and may not always discriminate between "writing-specific" and motor or linguistic processes shared with other abilities. We used the "Activation Likelihood Estimate" (ALE) meta-analytical method to identify the cerebral network of areas commonly activated during handwriting in 18 neuroimaging studies published in the literature. Included contrasts were also classified according to the control tasks used, whether non-specific motor/output-control or linguistic/input-control. These data were included in two secondary meta-analyses in order to reveal the functional role of the different areas of this network. An extensive, mainly left-hemisphere network of 12 cortical and sub-cortical areas was obtained; three of which were considered as primarily writing-specific (left superior frontal sulcus/middle frontal gyrus area, left intraparietal sulcus/superior parietal area, right cerebellum) while others related rather to non-specific motor (primary motor and sensorimotor cortex, supplementary motor area, thalamus and putamen) or linguistic processes (ventral premotor cortex, posterior/inferior temporal cortex). This meta-analysis provides a description of the cerebral network of handwriting as revealed by various types of neuroimaging experiments and confirms the crucial involvement of the left frontal and superior parietal regions. These findings provide new insights into cognitive processes involved in handwriting and their cerebral substrates. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Reading and writing are related but separable processes that are crucial skills to possess in modern society. The neurobiological basis of reading acquisition and development, which critically depends on phonological processing, and to a lesser degree, beginning writing as it relates to letter perception, are increasingly being understood. Yet direct relationships between writing and reading development, in particular, with phonological processing is not well understood. The main goal of the current preliminary study was to examine individual differences in neurofunctional and neuroanatomical patterns associated with handwriting in beginning writers/readers. In 46 5-6 year-old beginning readers/writers, ratings of handwriting quality, were rank-ordered from best to worst and correlated with brain activation patterns during a phonological task using functional MRI, and with regional grey matter volume from structural T1 MRI. Results showed that better handwriting was associated negatively with activation and positively with gray matter volume in an overlapping region of the pars triangularis of right inferior frontal gyrus. This region, in particular in the left hemisphere in adults and more bilaterally in young children, is known to be important for decoding, phonological processing, and subvocal rehearsal. We interpret the dissociation in the directionality of the association in functional activation and morphometric properties in the right inferior frontal gyrus in terms of neural efficiency, and suggest future studies that interrogate the relationship between the neural mechanisms underlying reading and writing development.
Full Text Available We sought to identify, the impact of handwriting skills on the efficiency and temporal course of word spelling across Grades 2-9. Eighty-four students, drawn from primary and lower secondary schools, were asked to perform a dictation task to assess their word spelling. They also had to write out the letters of the alphabet, as well as their firstnames and surnames, from memory to assess their handwriting skills. Handwriting kinematics were recorded using a digitizing tablet and a computer running Eye and Pen software. Results revealed that graphomotor skills (as assessed by the name writing task influenced the success and temporal course of spelling, but only in primary grades, whereas the influence of orthographic knowledge (as assessed by the alphabet task could still be observed in the lower secondary grades, even if it ceased to influence the temporal course and only affected errors. We discuss what these findings tell us about changes in transcription processes over the course of child development.
Gimenez, Paul; Bugescu, Nicolle; Black, Jessica M.; Hancock, Roeland; Pugh, Kenneth; Nagamine, Masanori; Kutner, Emily; Mazaika, Paul; Hendren, Robert; McCandliss, Bruce D.; Hoeft, Fumiko
Reading and writing are related but separable processes that are crucial skills to possess in modern society. The neurobiological basis of reading acquisition and development, which critically depends on phonological processing, and to a lesser degree, beginning writing as it relates to letter perception, are increasingly being understood. Yet direct relationships between writing and reading development, in particular, with phonological processing is not well understood. The main goal of the current preliminary study was to examine individual differences in neurofunctional and neuroanatomical patterns associated with handwriting in beginning writers/readers. In 46 5–6 year-old beginning readers/writers, ratings of handwriting quality, were rank-ordered from best to worst and correlated with brain activation patterns during a phonological task using functional MRI, and with regional gray matter volume from structural T1 MRI. Results showed that better handwriting was associated negatively with activation and positively with gray matter volume in an overlapping region of the pars triangularis of right inferior frontal gyrus. This region, in particular in the left hemisphere in adults and more bilaterally in young children, is known to be important for decoding, phonological processing, and subvocal rehearsal. We interpret the dissociation in the directionality of the association in functional activation and morphometric properties in the right inferior frontal gyrus in terms of neural efficiency, and suggest future studies that interrogate the relationship between the neural mechanisms underlying reading and writing development. PMID:24678293
Pontart, Virginie; Bidet-Ildei, Christel; Lambert, Eric; Morisset, Pauline; Flouret, Lisa; Alamargot, Denis
We sought to identify, the impact of handwriting skills on the efficiency and temporal course of word spelling across Grades 2–9. Eighty-four students, drawn from primary and lower secondary schools, were asked to perform a dictation task to assess their word spelling. They also had to write out the letters of the alphabet, as well as their firstnames and surnames, from memory to assess their handwriting skills. Handwriting kinematics were recorded using a digitizing tablet and a computer running Eye and Pen software. Results revealed that graphomotor skills (as assessed by the name writing task) influenced the success and temporal course of spelling, but only in primary grades, whereas the influence of orthographic knowledge (as assessed by the alphabet task) could still be observed in the lower secondary grades, even if it ceased to influence the temporal course and only affected errors. We discuss what these findings tell us about changes in transcription processes over the course of child development. PMID:24204357
Rahim, Kartini Abdul; Kahar, Rosmila Abdul; Khalid, Halimi Mohd.; Salleh, Rohayu Mohd; Hashim, Rathiah
Recognition of Arabic handwritten and its variants such as Farsi (Persian) and Urdu had been receiving considerable attention in recent years. Being contrast to Arabic handwritten, Jawi, as a second method of Malay handwritten, has not been studied yet, but if any, there were a few references on it. The recent transformation in Malaysian education, the Special Education is one of the priorities in the Malaysia Blueprint. One of the special needs quoted in Malaysia education is dyslexia. A dyslexic student is considered as student with learning disability. Concluding a student is truly dyslexia might be incorrect for they were only assessed through Roman alphabet, without considering assessment via Jawi handwriting. A study was conducted on dyslexic students attending a special class for dyslexia in Malay Language to determine whether they are also dyslexia in Jawi handwriting. The focus of the study is to test the copying skills in relation to word reading and writing in Malay Language with and without dyslexia through both characters. A total of 10 dyslexic children and 10 normal children were recruited. In conclusion for future study, dyslexic students have less difficulty in performing Jawi handwriting in Malay Language through statistical analysis.
Full Text Available This research was conducted with the aim of developing previous studies that have successfully applied the science of graphology to analyze digital handwriting and characteristics of his personality through shape based feature extraction, which in the present study will be applied one method of psychological tests commonly used by psychologists to recognize human’s personality that is Enneagram. The Enneagram method in principle will classify the personality traits of a person into nine types through a series of questions, which then calculated the amount of the overall weight of the answer. Thickness is what will provide direction personality type, which will then be matched with the personality type of the result of the graphology analysis of the handwriting. Personality type of handwritten analysis results is processed based on the personality traits that are the result of the identification of a combination of four dominant form of handwriting through the software output of previous studies, that Slant (tilt writing, Size (font size, Baseline, and Breaks (respite each word. From the results of this research can be found there is a correlation between personality analysis based on the psychology science to the graphology science, which results matching personality types by 81.6% of 49 respondents data who successfully tested.
Caligiuri, Michael P.; Teulings, Hans-Leo; Dean, Charles E.; Niculescu, Alexander B.; Lohr, James B.
Ongoing monitoring of neuroleptic-induced extrapyramidal side effects (EPS) is important to maximize treatment outcome, improve medication adherence and reduce re-hospitalization. Traditional approaches for assessing EPS such as parkinsonism, tardive akathisia, or dyskinesia rely upon clinical ratings. However, these observer-based EPS severity ratings can be unreliable and are subject to examiner bias. In contrast, quantitative instrumental methods are less subject to bias. Most instrumental methods have only limited clinical utility because of their complexity and costs. This paper describes an easy-to-use instrumental approach based on handwriting movements for quantifying EPS. Here, we present findings from psychiatric patients treated with atypical (second generation) antipsychotics. The handwriting task consisted of a sentence written several times within a 2 cm vertical boundary at a comfortable speed using an inkless pen and digitizing tablet. Kinematic variables including movement duration, peak vertical velocity and the number of acceleration peaks, and average normalized jerk (a measure of smoothness) for each up or down stroke and their submovements were analyzed. Results from 59 psychosis patients and 46 healthy comparison subjects revealed significant slowing and dysfluency in patients compared to controls. We observed differences across medications and daily dose. These findings support the ecological validity of handwriting movement analysis as an objective behavioral biomarker for quantifying the effects of antipsychotic medication and dose on the motor system. PMID:20381875
Full Text Available Revisiting an original idea by Hollerbach (1981, previous work has established that the production of graphic shapes, assumed to be the blueprint for handwriting, is governed by the dynamics of orthogonal non-linear coupled oscillators. Such dynamics determines few stable coordination patterns, giving rise to a limited set of preferred graphic shapes, namely, four lines and four ellipsoids independent of orientation. The present study investigates the rules of switching among such graphic coordination patterns. Seven participants were required to voluntarily switch within twelve pairs of shapes presented on a graphic tablet. In line with previous theoretical and experimental work on bimanual coordination, results corroborated our hypothesis that the relative stability of the produced coordination patterns determines the time needed for switching: the transition to a more stable pattern was shorter, and inversely. Moreover, switching between patterns with the same orientation but different eccentricities was faster than with a change in orientation. Nonetheless, the switching time covaried strictly with the change in relative phase effected by the transition between two shapes, whether this implied a change in eccentricity or in orientation. These findings suggest a new operational definition of what the (motor units or strokes of handwriting are and shed a novel light on how co-articulation and recruitment of degrees of freedom may occur in graphic skills. They also yield some leads for understanding the acquisition and the neural underpinnings of handwriting.
Ju, Yan-Ying; Liu, Yen-Hsiu; Cheng, Chih-Hsiu; Lee, Yu-Lung; Chang, Shih-Tsung; Sun, Chi-Chin; Cheng, Hsin-Yi Kathy
Data on visuomotor performance in combat training and the effects of combat training on visuomotor performance are limited. This study aimed to investigate the effects of a specially designed combat sports (CS) training program on the visuomotor performance levels of children. A pre-post comparative design was implemented. A total of 26 students aged 9-12 years underwent 40-min CS training sessions twice a week for 8 weeks during their physical education classes. The CS training program was designed by a karate coach and a motor control specialist. The other 30 students continued their regular activities and were considered as a control group. Each student's eye movement was monitored using an eye tracker, whereas the motor performance was measured using a target hitting system with a program-controlled microprocessor. The measurements were taken 8 weeks before (baseline), 1 day before (pretest), and 1 week after (posttest) the designated training program. The task used for evaluating these students was hitting or tracking random illuminated targets as rapidly as possible. A two-way analysis of variance [group(2) × time(3)] with repeated measures of time was performed for statistical analysis. For the children who received combat training, although the eye response improvement was not significant, both the primary and secondary saccade onset latencies were significantly earlier compared to the children without combat training. Both groups of students exhibited improvement in their hit response times during the target hitting tasks. The current finding supported the notion that sports training efforts essentially enhance visuomotor function in children aged 9-12 years, and combat training facilitates an earlier secondary saccade onset.
Caligiuri, Michael P.; Teulings, Hans-Leo; Dean, Charles E.; Niculescu, Alexander B.; Lohr, James
Epidemiologic studies indicate that nearly 60% of schizophrenia (SZ) patients treated with conventional antipsychotic drugs develop extrapyramidal side effects (EPS) such as parkinsonism and tardive dyskinesia. Although the prevalence of EPS has decreased due to the newer antipsychotics, EPS continue to limit the effectiveness of these medicines. Ongoing monitoring of EPS is likely to improve treatment outcome or compliance and reduce the frequency of re-hospitalization. A quantitative analysis of handwriting kinematics was used to evaluate effects of antipsychotic medication type and dose in schizophrenia patients. Twenty-seven schizophrenia patients treated with risperidone, six schizophrenia patients who received no antipsychotic medication and 46 healthy comparison participants were enrolled. Participants performed a 20-minute handwriting task consisting of loops of various sizes and a sentence. Data were captured and analyzed using MovAlyzeR software. Results indicated that risperidone-treated participants exhibited significantly more dysfluent handwriting movements than either healthy or untreated SZ participants. Risperidone-treated participants exhibited lower movement velocities during production of simple loops compared to unmedicated patients. Handwriting dysfluency during sentence writing increased with dose. A 3-factor model consisting of kinematic variables derived from sentence writing accounted for 83% (r = .91) of the variability in medication dose. In contrast, we found no association between observer-based EPS severity ratings and medication dose. These findings support the importance of handwriting-based measures to monitor EPS in medicated schizophrenia patients. PMID:19692133
Ellermann, Jutta M.; Siegal, Joel D.; Strupp, John P.; Ebner, Timothy J.; Ugurbil, Kâmil
The dorsal stream is a dominant visuomotor pathway that connects the striate and extrastriate cortices to posterior parietal areas. In turn, the posterior parietal areas send projections to the frontal primary motor and premotor areas. This cortical pathway is hypothesized to be involved in the transformation of a visual input into the appropriate motor output. In this study we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the entire brain to determine the patterns of activation that occurred while subjects performed a visually guided motor task. In nine human subjects, fMRI data were acquired on a 4-T whole-body MR system equipped with a head gradient coil and a birdcage RF coil using aT*2-weighted EPI sequence. Functional activation was determined for three different tasks: (1) a visuomotor task consisting of moving a cursor on a screen with a joystick in relation to various targets, (2) a hand movement task consisting of moving the joystick without visual input, and (3) a eye movement task consisting of moving the eyes alone without visual input. Blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) contrast-based activation maps of each subject were generated using period cross-correlation statistics. Subsequently, each subject's brain was normalized to Talairach coordinates, and the individual maps were compared on a pixel by pixel basis. Significantly activated pixels common to at least four out of six subjects were retained to construct the final functional image. The pattern of activation during visually guided movements was consistent with the flow of information from striate and extrastriate visual areas, to the posterior parietal complex, and then to frontal motor areas. The extensive activation of this network and the reproducibility among subjects is consistent with a role for the dorsal stream in transforming visual information into motor behavior. Also extensively activated were the medial and lateral cerebellar structures, implicating the cortico
Brian L Tracy
Full Text Available We examined aging-related differences in the contribution of visuomotor correction to force fluctuations during index finger abduction via the analysis of two datasets from similar subjects. Study 1 Young (N= 27, 23+/-8 yrs and older adults (N=14, 72+/- 9 yrs underwent assessment of maximum voluntary contraction force (MVC and force steadiness during constant-force (CF index finger abduction (2.5, 30, 65% MVC. For each trial, visual feedback of the force (VIS was provided for 8-10 s and removed for 8-10s (NOVIS. Visual gain of the force feedback at 2.5% MVC was high; 12- and 26-fold greater than the 30% and 65% MVC targets. Mean force, standard deviation (SD of force, and coefficient of variation (CV of force was calculated for detrended (<0.5Hz drift removed VIS and NOVIS data segments. Study 2 A similar group of 14 older adults performed discrete, randomly-ordered VIS or NOVIS trials at low target forces (1-3% MVC and high visual gain. Study 1 For young adults the CV of force was similar between VIS and NOVIS for the 2.5% (4.8 vs. 4.3%, 30% (3.2 vs. 3.2% and 65% (3.5 vs. 4.2% target forces. In contrast, for older adults the CV of force was greater for VIS than NOVIS for 2.5% MVC (6.6 vs. 4.2%, P<0.001, but not for the 30% (2.4 vs. 2.4% and 65% (3.1 vs. 3.3% target forces. At 2.5% MVC, the increase in CV of force for VIS compared with NOVIS was significantly greater (age x visual condition P=0.008 for older than young adults. Study 2 Similarly, for older adults performing discrete, randomly ordered trials the CV of force was greater for VIS than NOVIS (6.04 vs. 3.81%, P=0.01. When visual force feedback was a dominant source of information at low forces, normalized force variability was ~58% greater for older adults, but only 11% greater for young adults. The significant effect of visual feedback for older adults was not dependent on the order of presentation of visual conditions. The results indicate that impaired processing of visuomotor
Leow, Li-Ann; Gunn, Reece; Marinovic, Welber; Carroll, Timothy J
When sensory feedback is perturbed, accurate movement is restored by a combination of implicit processes and deliberate reaiming to strategically compensate for errors. Here, we directly compare two methods used previously to dissociate implicit from explicit learning on a trial-by-trial basis: 1 ) asking participants to report the direction that they aim their movements, and contrasting this with the directions of the target and the movement that they actually produce, and 2 ) manipulating movement preparation time. By instructing participants to reaim without a sensory perturbation, we show that reaiming is possible even with the shortest possible preparation times, particularly when targets are narrowly distributed. Nonetheless, reaiming is effortful and comes at the cost of increased variability, so we tested whether constraining preparation time is sufficient to suppress strategic reaiming during adaptation to visuomotor rotation with a broad target distribution. The rate and extent of error reduction under preparation time constraints were similar to estimates of implicit learning obtained from self-report without time pressure, suggesting that participants chose not to apply a reaiming strategy to correct visual errors under time pressure. Surprisingly, participants who reported aiming directions showed less implicit learning according to an alternative measure, obtained during trials performed without visual feedback. This suggests that the process of reporting can affect the extent or persistence of implicit learning. The data extend existing evidence that restricting preparation time can suppress explicit reaiming and provide an estimate of implicit visuomotor rotation learning that does not require participants to report their aiming directions. NEW & NOTEWORTHY During sensorimotor adaptation, implicit error-driven learning can be isolated from explicit strategy-driven reaiming by subtracting self-reported aiming directions from movement directions, or
Li-Tsang, Cecilia W. P.; Wong, Agnes S. K.; Chan, Jackson Y.; Lee, Amos Y. T.; Lam, Miko C. Y.; Wong, C. W.; Lu, Zhonglin
A previous study found a visual deficit in contour integration in English readers with dyslexia (Simmers & Bex, 2001). Visual contour integration may play an even more significant role in Chinese handwriting particularly due to its logographic presentation (Lam, Au, Leung, & Li-Tsang, 2011). The current study examined the relationship…
Chaminade, Thierry; Oztop, Erhan; Cheng, Gordon; Kawato, Mitsuo
Being at the crux of human cognition and behaviour, imitation has become the target of investigations ranging from experimental psychology and neurophysiology to computational sciences and robotics. It is often assumed that the imitation is innate, but it has more recently been argued, both theoretically and experimentally, that basic forms of imitation could emerge as a result of self-observation. Here, we tested this proposal on a realistic experimental platform, comprising an associative network linking a 16 degrees of freedom robotic hand and a simple visual system. We report that this minimal visuomotor association is sufficient to bootstrap basic imitation. Our results indicate that crucial features of human imitation, such as generalization to new actions, may emerge from a connectionist associative network. Therefore, we suggest that a behaviour as complex as imitation could be, at the neuronal level, founded on basic mechanisms of associative learning, a notion supported by a recent proposal on the developmental origin of mirror neurons. Our approach can be applied to the development of realistic cognitive architectures for humanoid robots as well as to shed new light on the cognitive processes at play in early human cognitive development.
Ward, Amanda M; Loucks, Torrey M; Ofori, Edward; Sosnoff, Jacob J
Audiomotor and visuomotor short-term memory are required for an important variety of skilled movements but have not been compared in a direct manner previously. Audiomotor memory capacity might be greater to accommodate auditory goals that are less directly related to movement outcome than for visually guided tasks. Subjects produced continuous isometric force with the right index finger under auditory and visual feedback. During the first 10 s of each trial, subjects received continuous auditory or visual feedback. For the following 15 s, feedback was removed but the force had to be maintained accurately. An internal effort condition was included to test memory capacity in the same manner but without external feedback. Similar decay times of ~5-6 s were found for vision and audition but the decay time for internal effort was ~4 s. External feedback thus provides an advantage in maintaining a force level after feedback removal, but may not exclude some contribution from a sense of effort. Short-term memory capacity appears longer than certain previous reports but there may not be strong distinctions in capacity across different sensory modalities, at least for isometric force.
Slobounov, S M; Fukada, K; Simon, R; Rearick, M; Ray, W
Using a video game format, this study examined the effects of time pressure (TP) on behavioral and electrocortical indices. The behavioral results were consistent with previous time pressure research in that TP reduced time to perform a task and increases behavioral errors. In addition, electroencephalogram (EEG) measures showed distinctive patterns associated with TP in the theta, mu, and gamma bands along the midline. Site specific changes in the success vs. failure trials were also seen in midline theta at Fz, gamma at Fz, and mu at Cz. Right parietal alpha also differentiated TP and success vs. failure trials. In specific TP (1) increased frontal midline theta activity and (2) increased gamma at midline (frontal, central, and partietal) and in right frontal areas. The results of these findings are discussed in terms of the formation of specific neurocognitive strategies as evidenced by the topographic distribution of task-related modulation of the EEG within certain frequency bands. It is suggested that the effect of TP on visuomotor performance is mediated by adopting either task-relevant or task-irrelevant neurocognitive strategies as evidenced by successful or failed trials, respectively. Whether these strategies are formulated prior to performance or appear spontaneously during task performance remains unclear and is awaiting further experimentation.
Full Text Available The sensorimotor timing is recalibrated after a brief exposure to a delayed feedback of voluntary actions (temporal recalibration effect: TRE (Heron et al., 2009; Stetson et al., 2006; Sugano et al., 2010. We introduce a new paradigm, namely ‘synchronous tapping’ (ST which allows us to investigate how the TRE builds up during adaptation. In each experimental trial, participants were repeatedly exposed to a constant lag (∼150 ms between their voluntary action (pressing a mouse and a feedback stimulus (a visual flash / an auditory click 10 times. Immediately after that, they performed a ST task with the same stimulus as a pace signal (7 flashes / clicks. A subjective ‘no-delay condition’ (∼50 ms served as control. The TRE manifested itself as a change in the tap-stimulus asynchrony that compensated the exposed lag (eg, after lag adaptation, the tap preceded the stimulus more than in control and built up quickly (∼3–6 trials, ∼23–45 sec in both the visuo- and audio-motor domain. The audio-motor TRE was bigger and built-up faster than the visuo-motor one. To conclude, the TRE is comparable between visuo- and audio-motor domain, though they are slightly different in size and build-up rate.
Lee, Hyunkyu; Voss, Michelle W; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Boot, Walter R; Vo, Loan T K; Basak, Chandramallika; Vanpatter, Matt; Gratton, Gabriele; Fabiani, Monica; Kramer, Arthur F
Although changes in brain function induced by cognitive training have been examined, functional plasticity associated with specific training strategies is still relatively unexplored. In this study, we examined changes in brain function during a complex visuomotor task following training using the Space Fortress video game. To assess brain function, participants completed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) before and after 30 h of training with one of two training regimens: Hybrid Variable-Priority Training (HVT), with a focus on improving specific skills and managing task priority, or Full Emphasis Training (FET), in which participants simply practiced the game to obtain the highest overall score. Control participants received only 6 h of FET. Compared to FET, HVT learners reached higher performance on the game and showed less brain activation in areas related to visuo-spatial attention and goal-directed movement after training. Compared to the control group, HVT exhibited less brain activation in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), coupled with greater performance improvement. Region-of-interest analysis revealed that the reduction in brain activation was correlated with improved performance on the task. This study sheds light on the neurobiological mechanisms of improved learning from directed training (HVT) over non-directed training (FET), which is related to visuo-spatial attention and goal-directed motor planning, while separating the practice-based benefit, which is related to executive control and rule management. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Rossit, Stéphanie; Benwell, Christopher S Y; Szymanek, Larissa; Learmonth, Gemma; McKernan-Ward, Laura; Corrigan, Elaine; Muir, Keith; Reeves, Ian; Duncan, George; Birschel, Philip; Roberts, Margaret; Livingstone, Katrina; Jackson, Hazel; Castle, Pauline; Harvey, Monika
Hemispatial neglect is a severe cognitive condition frequently observed after a stroke, associated with unawareness of one side of space, disability and poor long-term outcome. Visuomotor feedback training (VFT) is a neglect rehabilitation technique that involves a simple, inexpensive and feasible training of grasping-to-lift rods at the centre. We compared the immediate and long-term effects of VFT vs. a control training when delivered in a home-based setting. Twenty participants were randomly allocated to an intervention (who received VFT) or a control group (n = 10 each). Training was delivered for two sessions by an experimenter and then patients self-administered it for 10 sessions over two weeks. Outcome measures included the Behavioural Inattention Test (BIT), line bisection, Balloons Test, Landmark task, room description task, subjective straight-ahead pointing task and the Stroke Impact Scale. The measures were obtained before, immediately after the training sessions and after four-months post-training. Significantly greater short and long-term improvements were obtained after VFT when compared to control training in line bisection, BIT and spatial bias in cancellation. VFT also produced improvements on activities of daily living. We conclude that VFT is a feasible, effective, home-based rehabilitation method for neglect patients that warrants further investigation with well-designed randomised controlled trials on a large sample of patients.
Villalobos, Michele E; Mizuno, Akiko; Dahl, Branelle C; Kemmotsu, Nobuko; Müller, Ralph-Axel
Some recent evidence has suggested abnormalities of the dorsal stream and possibly the mirror neuron system in autism, which may be responsible for impairments of joint attention, imitation, and secondarily for language delays. The current study investigates functional connectivity along the dorsal stream in autism, examining interregional blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal cross-correlation during visuomotor coordination. Eight high-functioning autistic men and eight handedness and age-matched controls were included. Visually prompted button presses were performed with the preferred hand. For each subject, functional connectivity was computed in terms of BOLD signal correlation with the mean time series in bilateral visual area 17. Our hypothesis of reduced dorsal stream connectivity in autism was only in part confirmed. Functional connectivity with superior parietal areas was not significantly reduced. However, the autism group showed significantly reduced connectivity with bilateral inferior frontal area 44, which is compatible with the hypothesis of mirror neuron defects in autism. More generally, our findings suggest that dorsal stream connectivity in autism may not be fully functional.
Dean, Derek J.; Teulings, Hans-Leo; Caligiuri, Michael; Mittal, Vijay A.
Growing evidence suggests that movement abnormalities are a core feature of psychosis. One marker of movement abnormality, dyskinesia, is a result of impaired neuromodulation of dopamine in fronto-striatal pathways. The traditional methods for identifying movement abnormalities include observer-based reports and force stability gauges. The drawbacks of these methods are long training times for raters, experimenter bias, large site differences in instrumental apparatus, and suboptimal reliability. Taking these drawbacks into account has guided the development of better standardized and more efficient procedures to examine movement abnormalities through handwriting analysis software and tablet. Individuals at risk for psychosis showed significantly more dysfluent pen movements (a proximal measure for dyskinesia) in a handwriting task. Handwriting kinematics offers a great advance over previous methods of assessing dyskinesia, which could clearly be beneficial for understanding the etiology of psychosis. PMID:24300590
Wolf, Beverly; Abbott, Robert D; Berninger, Virginia W
In Study 1, the treatment group ( N = 33 first graders, M = 6 years 10 months, 16 girls) received Slingerland multi-modal (auditory, visual, tactile, motor through hand, and motor through mouth) manuscript (unjoined) handwriting instruction embedded in systematic spelling, reading, and composing lessons; and the control group ( N =16 first graders, M = 7 years 1 month, 7 girls) received manuscript handwriting instruction not systematically related to the other literacy activities. ANOVA showed both groups improved on automatic alphabet writing from memory; but ANCOVA with the automatic alphabet writing task as covariate showed that the treatment group improved significantly more than control group from the second to ninth month of first grade on dictated spelling and recognition of word-specific spellings among phonological foils. In Study 2 new groups received either a second year of manuscript ( N = 29, M = 7 years 8 months, 16 girls) or introduction to cursive (joined) instruction in second grade ( N = 24, M = 8 years 0 months, 11 girls) embedded in the Slingerland literacy program. ANCOVA with automatic alphabet writing as covariate showed that those who received a second year of manuscript handwriting instruction improved more on sustained handwriting over 30, 60, and 90 seconds than those who had had only one year of manuscript instruction; both groups improved in spelling and composing from the second to ninth month of second grade. Results are discussed in reference to mastering one handwriting format before introducing another format at a higher grade level and always embedding handwriting instruction in writing and reading instruction aimed at all levels of language.
Wolf, Beverly; Abbott, Robert D.; Berninger, Virginia W.
In Study 1, the treatment group (N = 33 first graders, M = 6 years 10 months, 16 girls) received Slingerland multi-modal (auditory, visual, tactile, motor through hand, and motor through mouth) manuscript (unjoined) handwriting instruction embedded in systematic spelling, reading, and composing lessons; and the control group (N =16 first graders, M = 7 years 1 month, 7 girls) received manuscript handwriting instruction not systematically related to the other literacy activities. ANOVA showed both groups improved on automatic alphabet writing from memory; but ANCOVA with the automatic alphabet writing task as covariate showed that the treatment group improved significantly more than control group from the second to ninth month of first grade on dictated spelling and recognition of word-specific spellings among phonological foils. In Study 2 new groups received either a second year of manuscript (N = 29, M = 7 years 8 months, 16 girls) or introduction to cursive (joined) instruction in second grade (N = 24, M = 8 years 0 months, 11 girls) embedded in the Slingerland literacy program. ANCOVA with automatic alphabet writing as covariate showed that those who received a second year of manuscript handwriting instruction improved more on sustained handwriting over 30, 60, and 90 seconds than those who had had only one year of manuscript instruction; both groups improved in spelling and composing from the second to ninth month of second grade. Results are discussed in reference to mastering one handwriting format before introducing another format at a higher grade level and always embedding handwriting instruction in writing and reading instruction aimed at all levels of language. PMID:28190930
The use of handwriting in the EMR was broadly supported by this group of PCPs in private practice. Likewise, wireless pen computers were the overwhelming choice of computer for use during a consultation. In this group, older and lower volume physicians were less likely to desire a computer for use during a consultation. User acceptance of the EMR may be related to how closely it resembles the processes that are being automated. More surveys are required to determine the needs and expectations of physicians. The data also support other research studies that demonstrate the preference for handwriting and wireless computers, and the need for a limited, standardised and controlled vocabulary.
Tolosana, Ruben; Vera-Rodriguez, Ruben; Fierrez, Julian; Morales, Aythami; Ortega-Garcia, Javier
This paper describes the design, acquisition process and baseline evaluation of the new e-BioSign database, which includes dynamic signature and handwriting information. Data is acquired from 5 different COTS devices: three Wacom devices (STU-500, STU-530 and DTU-1031) specifically designed to capture dynamic signatures and handwriting, and two general purpose tablets (Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and Samsung ATIV 7). For the two Samsung tablets, data is collected using both pen stylus and also the finger in order to study the performance of signature verification in a mobile scenario. Data was collected in two sessions for 65 subjects, and includes dynamic information of the signature, the full name and alpha numeric sequences. Skilled forgeries were also performed for signatures and full names. We also report a benchmark evaluation based on e-BioSign for person verification under three different real scenarios: 1) intra-device, 2) inter-device, and 3) mixed writing-tool. We have experimented the proposed benchmark using the main existing approaches for signature verification: feature- and time functions-based. As a result, new insights into the problem of signature biometrics in sensor-interoperable scenarios have been obtained, namely: the importance of specific methods for dealing with device interoperability, and the necessity of a deeper analysis on signatures acquired using the finger as the writing tool. This e-BioSign public database allows the research community to: 1) further analyse and develop signature verification systems in realistic scenarios, and 2) investigate towards a better understanding of the nature of the human handwriting when captured using electronic COTS devices in realistic conditions.
Broeder, S; Nackaerts, E; Nieuwboer, A; Smits-Engelsman, B C M; Swinnen, S P; Heremans, E
Previous studies have shown that patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) experience extensive problems during dual tasking. Up to now, dual-task interference in PD has mainly been investigated in the context of gait research. However, the simultaneous performance of two different tasks is also a prerequisite to efficiently perform many other tasks in daily life, including upper limb tasks. To address this issue, this study investigated the effect of a secondary cognitive task on the performance of handwriting in patients with PD. Eighteen PD patients and 11 age-matched controls performed a writing task involving the production of repetitive loops under single- and dual-task conditions. The secondary task consisted of counting high and low tones during writing. The writing tests were performed with two amplitudes (0.6 and 1.0cm) using a writing tablet. Results showed that dual-task performance was affected in PD patients versus controls. Dual tasking reduced writing amplitude in PD patients, but not in healthy controls (p=0.046). Patients' writing size was mainly reduced during the small-amplitude condition (small amplitude p=0.017; large amplitude p=0.310). This suggests that the control of writing at small amplitudes requires more compensational brain-processing recourses in PD and is as such less automatic than writing at large amplitudes. In addition, there was a larger dual-task effect on the secondary task in PD patients than controls (p=0.025). The writing tests on the writing tablet proved highly correlated to daily life writing as measured by the 'Systematic Screening of Handwriting Difficulties' test (SOS-test) and other manual dexterity tasks, particularly during dual-task conditions. Taken together, these results provide additional insights into the motor control of handwriting and the effects of dual tasking during upper limb movements in patients with PD. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Gangopadhyay, Diya; Vasal, Ityam; Yammiyavar, Pradeep
Mobile phones, in the recent times, have become affordable and accessible to a wider range of users including the hitherto technologically and economically under-represented segments. Indian users are a gigantic consumer base for mobile phones. With Hindi being one of the most widely spoken languages in the country and the primary tool of communication for about a third of its population, an effective solution for Hindi text entry in mobile devices is expected to be immensely useful to the non English speaking users. This paper proposes a mobile phone handwriting based text entry solution for Hindi language, which allows for an easy text entry method, while facilitating better recognition accuracy.
Anouk van der Hoorn
Full Text Available Radial expanding optic flow is a visual consequence of forward locomotion. Presented on screen, it generates illusionary forward self-motion, pointing at a close vision-gait interrelation. As particularly parkinsonian gait is vulnerable to external stimuli, effects of optic flow on motor-related cerebral circuitry were explored with functional magnetic resonance imaging in healthy controls (HC and patients with Parkinson's disease (PD. Fifteen HC and 22 PD patients, of which 7 experienced freezing of gait (FOG, watched wide-field flow, interruptions by narrowing or deceleration and equivalent control conditions with static dots. Statistical parametric mapping revealed that wide-field flow interruption evoked activation of the (pre-supplementary motor area (SMA in HC, which was decreased in PD. During wide-field flow, dorsal occipito-parietal activations were reduced in PD relative to HC, with stronger functional connectivity between right visual motion area V5, pre-SMA and cerebellum (in PD without FOG. Non-specific 'changes' in stimulus patterns activated dorsolateral fronto-parietal regions and the fusiform gyrus. This attention-associated network was stronger activated in HC than in PD. PD patients thus appeared compromised in recruiting medial frontal regions facilitating internally generated virtual locomotion when visual motion support falls away. Reduced dorsal visual and parietal activations during wide-field optic flow in PD were explained by impaired feedforward visual and visuomotor processing within a magnocellular (visual motion functional chain. Compensation of impaired feedforward processing by distant fronto-cerebellar circuitry in PD is consistent with motor responses to visual motion stimuli being either too strong or too weak. The 'change'-related activations pointed at covert (stimulus-driven attention.
Haarman, Juliet A M; Choi, Julia T; Buurke, Jaap H; Rietman, Johan S; Reenalda, Jasper
Visual cues can be used to train walking patterns. Here, we studied the performance and learning capacities of healthy subjects executing a high-precision visuomotor walking task, in an augmented reality training set-up. A beamer was used to project visual stepping targets on the walking surface of an instrumented treadmill. Two speeds were used to manipulate task difficulty. All participants (n = 20) had to change their step length to hit visual stepping targets with a specific part of their foot, while walking on a treadmill over seven consecutive training blocks, each block composed of 100 stepping targets. Distance between stepping targets was varied between short, medium and long steps. Training blocks could either be composed of random stepping targets (no fixed sequence was present in the distance between the stepping targets) or sequenced stepping targets (repeating fixed sequence was present). Random training blocks were used to measure non-specific learning and sequenced training blocks were used to measure sequence-specific learning. Primary outcome measures were performance (% of correct hits), and learning effects (increase in performance over the training blocks: both sequence-specific and non-specific). Secondary outcome measures were the performance and stepping-error in relation to the step length (distance between stepping target). Subjects were able to score 76% and 54% at first try for lower speed (2.3 km/h) and higher speed (3.3 km/h) trials, respectively. Performance scores did not increase over the course of the trials, nor did the subjects show the ability to learn a sequenced walking task. Subjects were better able to hit targets while increasing their step length, compared to shortening it. In conclusion, augmented reality training by use of the current set-up was intuitive for the user. Suboptimal feedback presentation might have limited the learning effects of the subjects. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Leow, Li-Ann; de Rugy, Aymar; Marinovic, Welber; Riek, Stephan; Carroll, Timothy J
When we move, perturbations to our body or the environment can elicit discrepancies between predicted and actual outcomes. We readily adapt movements to compensate for such discrepancies, and the retention of this learning is evident as savings, or faster readaptation to a previously encountered perturbation. The mechanistic processes contributing to savings, or even the necessary conditions for savings, are not fully understood. One theory suggests that savings requires increased sensitivity to previously experienced errors: when perturbations evoke a sequence of correlated errors, we increase our sensitivity to the errors experienced, which subsequently improves error correction (Herzfeld et al. 2014). An alternative theory suggests that a memory of actions is necessary for savings: when an action becomes associated with successful target acquisition through repetition, that action is more rapidly retrieved at subsequent learning (Huang et al. 2011). In the present study, to better understand the necessary conditions for savings, we tested how savings is affected by prior experience of similar errors and prior repetition of the action required to eliminate errors using a factorial design. Prior experience of errors induced by a visuomotor rotation in the savings block was either prevented at initial learning by gradually removing an oppositely signed perturbation or enforced by abruptly removing the perturbation. Prior repetition of the action required to eliminate errors in the savings block was either deprived or enforced by manipulating target location in preceding trials. The data suggest that prior experience of errors is both necessary and sufficient for savings, whereas prior repetition of a successful action is neither necessary nor sufficient for savings. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.
Dawood, Farhan; Loo, Chu Kiong
Mirror neurons are visuo-motor neurons found in primates and thought to be significant for imitation learning. The proposition that mirror neurons result from associative learning while the neonate observes his own actions has received noteworthy empirical support. Self-exploration is regarded as a procedure by which infants become perceptually observant to their own body and engage in a perceptual communication with themselves. We assume that crude sense of self is the prerequisite for social interaction. However, the contribution of mirror neurons in encoding the perspective from which the motor acts of others are seen have not been addressed in relation to humanoid robots. In this paper we present a computational model for development of mirror neuron system for humanoid based on the hypothesis that infants acquire MNS by sensorimotor associative learning through self-exploration capable of sustaining early imitation skills. The purpose of our proposed model is to take into account the view-dependency of neurons as a probable outcome of the associative connectivity between motor and visual information. In our experiment, a humanoid robot stands in front of a mirror (represented through self-image using camera) in order to obtain the associative relationship between his own motor generated actions and his own visual body-image. In the learning process the network first forms mapping from each motor representation onto visual representation from the self-exploratory perspective. Afterwards, the representation of the motor commands is learned to be associated with all possible visual perspectives. The complete architecture was evaluated by simulation experiments performed on DARwIn-OP humanoid robot. PMID:26998923
Dawood, Farhan; Loo, Chu Kiong
Mirror neurons are visuo-motor neurons found in primates and thought to be significant for imitation learning. The proposition that mirror neurons result from associative learning while the neonate observes his own actions has received noteworthy empirical support. Self-exploration is regarded as a procedure by which infants become perceptually observant to their own body and engage in a perceptual communication with themselves. We assume that crude sense of self is the prerequisite for social interaction. However, the contribution of mirror neurons in encoding the perspective from which the motor acts of others are seen have not been addressed in relation to humanoid robots. In this paper we present a computational model for development of mirror neuron system for humanoid based on the hypothesis that infants acquire MNS by sensorimotor associative learning through self-exploration capable of sustaining early imitation skills. The purpose of our proposed model is to take into account the view-dependency of neurons as a probable outcome of the associative connectivity between motor and visual information. In our experiment, a humanoid robot stands in front of a mirror (represented through self-image using camera) in order to obtain the associative relationship between his own motor generated actions and his own visual body-image. In the learning process the network first forms mapping from each motor representation onto visual representation from the self-exploratory perspective. Afterwards, the representation of the motor commands is learned to be associated with all possible visual perspectives. The complete architecture was evaluated by simulation experiments performed on DARwIn-OP humanoid robot.
Full Text Available Mirror neurons are visuo-motor neurons found in primates and thought to be significant for imitation learning. The proposition that mirror neurons result from associative learning while the neonate observes his own actions has received noteworthy empirical support. Self-exploration is regarded as a procedure by which infants become perceptually observant to their own body and engage in a perceptual communication with themselves. We assume that crude sense of self is the prerequisite for social interaction. However, the contribution of mirror neurons in encoding the perspective from which the motor acts of others are seen have not been addressed in relation to humanoid robots. In this paper we present a computational model for development of mirror neuron system for humanoid based on the hypothesis that infants acquire MNS by sensorimotor associative learning through self-exploration capable of sustaining early imitation skills. The purpose of our proposed model is to take into account the view-dependency of neurons as a probable outcome of the associative connectivity between motor and visual information. In our experiment, a humanoid robot stands in front of a mirror (represented through self-image using camera in order to obtain the associative relationship between his own motor generated actions and his own visual body-image. In the learning process the network first forms mapping from each motor representation onto visual representation from the self-exploratory perspective. Afterwards, the representation of the motor commands is learned to be associated with all possible visual perspectives. The complete architecture was evaluated by simulation experiments performed on DARwIn-OP humanoid robot.
Jared Brent Smith
Full Text Available The claustrum has a role in the interhemispheric transfer of certain types of sensorimotor information. Whereas the whisker region in rat motor (M1 cortex sends dense projections to the contralateral claustrum, the M1 forelimb representation does not. The claustrum sends strong ipsilateral projections to the whisker regions in M1 and somatosensory (S1 cortex, but its projections to the forelimb cortical areas are weak. These distinctions suggest that one function of the M1 projections to the contralateral claustrum is to coordinate the cortical areas that regulate peripheral sensor movements during behaviors that depend on bilateral sensory acquisition. If this hypothesis is true, then similar interhemispheric circuits should interconnect the frontal eye fields (FEF with the contralateral claustrum and its network of projections to vision-related cortical areas. To test this hypothesis, anterograde and retrograde tracers were placed in physiologically-defined parts of the FEF and primary visual cortex (V1 in rats. We observed dense FEF projections to the contralateral claustrum that terminated in the midst of claustral neurons that project to both FEF and V1. While the FEF inputs to the claustrum come predominantly from the contralateral hemisphere, the claustral projections to FEF and V1 are primarily ipsilateral. Detailed comparison of the present results with our previous studies on somatomotor claustral circuitry revealed a well-defined functional topography in which the ventral claustrum is connected with visuomotor cortical areas and the dorsal regions are connected with somatomotor areas. These results suggest that subregions within the claustrum play a critical role in coordinating the cortical areas that regulate the acquisition of modality-specific sensory information during exploration and other behaviors that require sensory attention.
Bara, Florence; Morin, Marie-France
An important issue relating to the teaching of handwriting concerns the style that should be learned at school (manuscript or cursive). Whereas some countries choose to teach both styles (e.g., Canada), other countries choose to teach only one (e.g., France). Our research had three main underlying goals, namely (1) to observe and describe the…
Logar, Vito; Belič, Aleš
The area of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) represents one of the more interesting fields in neurophysiological research, since it investigates the development of the machines that perform different transformations of the brain's "thoughts" to certain pre-defined actions. Experimental studies have reported some successful implementations of BCIs; however, much of the field still remains unexplored. According to some recent reports the phase coding of informational content is an important mechanism in the brain's function and cognition, and has the potential to explain various mechanisms of the brain's data transfer, but it has yet to be scrutinized in the context of brain-computer interface. Therefore, if the mechanism of phase coding is plausible, one should be able to extract the phase-coded content, carried by brain signals, using appropriate signal-processing methods. In our previous studies we have shown that by using a phase-demodulation-based signal-processing approach it is possible to decode some relevant information on the current motor action in the brain from electroencephalographic (EEG) data. In this paper the authors would like to present a continuation of their previous work on the brain-information-decoding analysis of visuo-motor (VM) tasks. The present study shows that EEG data measured during more complex, dynamic visuo-motor (dVM) tasks carries enough information about the currently performed motor action to be successfully extracted by using the appropriate signal-processing and identification methods. The aim of this paper is therefore to present a mathematical model, which by means of the EEG measurements as its inputs predicts the course of the wrist movements as applied by each subject during the task in simulated or real time (BCI analysis). However, several modifications to the existing methodology are needed to achieve optimal decoding results and a real-time, data-processing ability. The information extracted from the EEG could
Tse, Linda F. L.; Siu, Andrew M. H.; Li-Tsang, Cecilia W. P.
Although copying and name writing skills are regarded as the indicators of handwriting development in alphabetic writing systems, there is limited information on logographs such as Chinese. Chinese characters are not only simply a combination of strokes as letters in English, but also place a great demand on visuospatial ability to maintain good…
Mogey, Nora; Hartley, James
There is much debate about whether or not these days students should be able to word-process essay-type examinations as opposed to handwriting them, particularly when they are asked to word-process everything else. This study used word-processing software to examine the stylistic features of 13 examination essays written by hand and 24 by…
Berninger, Virginia W; Nagy, William; Tanimoto, Steve; Thompson, Rob; Abbott, Robert D
Effectiveness of iPad computerized writing instruction was evaluated for 4 th to 9 th graders ( n =35) with diagnosed specific learning disabilities (SLDs) affecting writing: dysgraphia (impaired handwriting), dyslexia (impaired spelling), and oral and written language learning disability (OWL LD) (impaired syntax composing). Each of the 18 two-hour lessons had multiple learning activities aimed at improving subword - (handwriting), word - (spelling), and syntax - (sentence composing) level language skills by engaging all four language systems (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) to create a functional writing system. To evaluate treatment effectiveness, normed measures of handwriting, spelling, and composing were used with the exception of one non-normed alphabet writing task. Results showed that the sample as a whole improved significantly from pretest to posttest in three handwriting measures, four spelling measures, and both written and oral syntax construction measures. All but oral syntax was evaluated with pen and paper tasks, showing that the computer writing instruction transferred to better writing with pen and paper. Performance on learning activities during instruction correlated with writing outcomes; and individual students tended to improve in the impaired skill associated with their diagnosis. Thus, although computers are often used in upper elementary school and middle school in the United States (US) for accommodations (alternatives to pen and paper) for students with persisting SLDs affecting writing, this study shows computers can also be used for Tier 3 instruction to improve the writing skills of students in grades 4 to 9 with history of persisting writing disabilities.
Kuo, Li-Chieh; Hsu, Hsiao-Man; Wu, Po-Ting; Lin, Sheng-Che; Hsu, Hsiu-Yun; Jou, I-Ming
This study investigates the handwriting performance of patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and healthy controls in office and administrative support occupations, adopting both biomechanical and functional perspectives. This work also explores how surgical intervention altered the performance of the CTS patients. Fourteen CTS patients and 14 control subjects were recruited to complete a self-reported survey and participate in sensory tests, hand strength, dexterity and handwriting tasks using a custom force acquisition pen along with motion capture technology. Based on the results of these, the sensory measurements, along with functional and biomechanical parameters, were used to determine the differences between the groups and also reveal any improvements that occurred in the CTS group after surgical intervention. The CTS patients showed significantly poorer hand sensibility and dexterity than the controls, as well as excessive force exertion of the digits and pen tip, and less efficient force adjustment ability during handwriting. After surgery and sensory recovery, the hand dexterity and pen tip force of the CTS patients improved significantly. The force adjustment abilities of the digits also increased, but these changes were not statistically significant. This study provides the objective measurements and novel apparatus that can be used to determine impairments in the handwriting abilities of office or administrative workers with CTS. The results can also help clinicians or patients to better understand the sensory-related deficits in sensorimotor control of the hand related to CTS, and thus develop and implement more suitable training or adaptive protocols.
Harris-Brown, Talitha; Richmond, Janet; Maddalena, Sebastian Della; Jaworski, Alinta
Despite the large number of people with visual impairments in Australia, all Western Australian secondary students are required to complete their secondary exams using handwriting, unless they qualify for special provisions. Students with visual impairments do not necessarily qualify for special provisions on the basis of their visual impairment…
Alamargot, Denis; Morin, Marie-France
We sought to ascertain how handwriting with a plastic-tipped pen on the screen of a digital tablet affects graphomotor execution in students, compared with handwriting on paper with a ballpoint pen. We predicted that the modification to propriokinesthetic feedback induced by the screen/plastic tip combination would differently disturb younger and older students, who rely on perceptual feedback either to form letters (former) or to adjust movement execution (latter). Twenty-eight students from Grades Two and Nine were asked to handwrite the alphabet and their names and surnames under the two conditions. Kinematics were recorded using the tablet, controlled by Eye and Pen software. Results showed that handwriting on the tablet surface with a plastic-tipped pen primarily affected pen pauses in the second graders and pen movements in the ninth graders, suggesting a disturbance in segment trajectory calculation in the younger participants and reduced control of muscular adjustment in the older children. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Berninger, Virginia W.; Nagy, William; Tanimoto, Steve; Thompson, Rob; Abbott, Robert D.
Effectiveness of iPad computerized writing instruction was evaluated for 4th to 9th graders (n=35) with diagnosed specific learning disabilities (SLDs) affecting writing: dysgraphia (impaired handwriting), dyslexia (impaired spelling), and oral and written language learning disability (OWL LD) (impaired syntax composing). Each of the 18 two-hour lessons had multiple learning activities aimed at improving subword- (handwriting), word- (spelling), and syntax- (sentence composing) level language skills by engaging all four language systems (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) to create a functional writing system. To evaluate treatment effectiveness, normed measures of handwriting, spelling, and composing were used with the exception of one non-normed alphabet writing task. Results showed that the sample as a whole improved significantly from pretest to posttest in three handwriting measures, four spelling measures, and both written and oral syntax construction measures. All but oral syntax was evaluated with pen and paper tasks, showing that the computer writing instruction transferred to better writing with pen and paper. Performance on learning activities during instruction correlated with writing outcomes; and individual students tended to improve in the impaired skill associated with their diagnosis. Thus, although computers are often used in upper elementary school and middle school in the United States (US) for accommodations (alternatives to pen and paper) for students with persisting SLDs affecting writing, this study shows computers can also be used for Tier 3 instruction to improve the writing skills of students in grades 4 to 9 with history of persisting writing disabilities. PMID:25378768
Klein, Sheryl; Guiltner, Val; Sollereder, Patti; Cui, Ying
Occupational therapists assess fine motor, visual motor, visual perception, and visual skill development, but knowledge of the relationships between scores on sensorimotor performance measures and handwriting legibility and speed is limited. Ninety-nine students in grades three to six with learning and/or behavior problems completed the Upper-Limb…
de Vries, Liesbeth; van Hartingsveldt, Margo J.; Cup, Edith H.C.; Nijhuis-van der Sanden, Maria W.G.; de Groot, Imelda J.M.
When children are not ready to write, assessment of fine motor coordination may be indicated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate which fine motor test, the Nine-Hole Peg Test (9-HPT) or the newly developed Timed Test of In-Hand Manipulation (Timed-TIHM), correlates best with handwriting
Vries, L. de; Hartingsveldt, M.J. van; Cup, E.H.C.; Nijhuis-Van der Sanden, M.W.G.; Groot, I.J.M. de
When children are not ready to write, assessment of fine motor coordination may be indicated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate which fine motor test, the Nine-Hole Peg Test (9-HPT) or the newly developed Timed Test of In-Hand Manipulation (Timed-TIHM), correlates best with handwriting
Siebner, H.R.; Limmer, C.; Peinemann, A.; Drzezga, A.; Bloem, B.R.; Schwaiger, M.; Conrad, B.
Until some decades ago, left-handed children who attended German schools were forced to learn to write with their right hand. To explore the long-term consequences of switching handedness, we studied the functional neuroanatomy of handwriting in 11 adult "converted" left-handers and 11 age-matched
Soler Vilageliu, Olga; Kandel, Sonia
Previous studies have shown the relevance of the syllable as a programming unit in handwriting production, both in adults and elementary school children. This longitudinal study focuses on the acquisition of writing skills in a group of preschoolers. It examines how and when the syllable structure of the word starts regulating motor programming in…
Carlotta eZanaboni Dina
Full Text Available Tourette’s syndrome (TS is a neurodevelopmental disorder typically defined by multiple motor tics and at least one sound tic (1, beginning in childhood or in adolescence. More recently, Tourette’s syndrome has been acknowledged as a broad spectrum syndrome (2, including different comorbidities and coexisting symptoms. When beginning in early childhood TS mainly presents with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD and tics, when beginning in adolescence instead tics and obsessive-compulsive behavior or disorder (OCB/OCD are predominant. OCB/OCD trait is present in 60-80% of patients (3, and they are considered as thought tics (4. In many cases motor and sound tics resolve spontaneously in adulthood, though OCB/OCD generally remain. Tics often interfere with subject’s daily activities (5 affecting Quality of Life and causing Social Impairment, particularly in schooling and working. Handwriting is one of the most impaired school activity for TS patients because of the tics presence that hamper learning processes.In our clinical experience handwriting tics (HT could severely affect and condition TS subjects, but they are not often pointed out in the Literature. For this reason there are not precise data regarding the incidence of HT neither in Tourette’s syndrome patients nor in healthy population.
Breivik, Ingrid; Hemmingsson, Helena
Adolescents with Asperger's syndrome (AS), often have handwriting difficulties that affect their academic performance. The purpose of this descriptive multiple-case mixed-method study was to highlight how adolescents with AS experience writing in the school setting when writing by hand and when using a computerized Assistive Technology Device (ATD), for writing. A qualitative content analysis approach was used, including interviews with five adolescents, their parents, and their teachers. This was complemented by asking the adolescents to rate their perceived performance and satisfaction of writing with and without the ATD. All adolescents described handwriting difficulties, but a reduced ability to express oneself in writing was also common. Initiating and completing writing tasks was often so demanding that it caused resistance to the activity. Several advantages when using the ATD were described by the participants and the self-ratings showed higher scores for performance of and satisfaction with writing when the ATD was used. The results show that teachers' encouragement seemed to be important for the initiation and continuation of use of the ATD.
Hamdani, Mahdi; El Abed, Haikal; Hamdani, Tarek M.; Märgner, Volker; Alimi, Adel M.
One of the trivial steps in the development of a classifier is the design of its architecture. This paper presents a new algorithm, Multi Models Evolvement (MME) using Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO). This algorithm is a modified version of the basic PSO, which is used to the unsupervised design of Hidden Markov Model (HMM) based architectures. For instance, the proposed algorithm is applied to an Arabic handwriting recognizer based on discrete probability HMMs. After the optimization of their architectures, HMMs are trained with the Baum- Welch algorithm. The validation of the system is based on the IfN/ENIT database. The performance of the developed approach is compared to the participating systems at the 2005 competition organized on Arabic handwriting recognition on the International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition (ICDAR). The final system is a combination between an optimized HMM with 6 other HMMs obtained by a simple variation of the number of states. An absolute improvement of 6% of word recognition rate with about 81% is presented. This improvement is achieved comparing to the basic system (ARAB-IfN). The proposed recognizer outperforms also most of the known state-of-the-art systems.
Bubblepreet K. Randhawa
Full Text Available Background. Parkinson disease (PD is characterized by hypometric movements resulting from loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. PD leads to decreased activation of the supplementary motor area (SMA; the net result of these changes is a poverty of movement. The present study determined the impact of 5 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS over the SMA on a fine motor movement, handwriting (writing cursive “l”s, and on cortical excitability, in individuals with PD. Methods. In a cross-over design, ten individuals with PD were randomized to receive either 5 Hz or control stimulation over the SMA. Immediately following brain stimulation right handed writing was assessed. Results. 5 Hz stimulation increased vertical size of handwriting and diminished axial pressure. In addition, 5 Hz rTMS significantly decreased the threshold for excitability in the primary motor cortex. Conclusions. These data suggest that in the short term 5 Hz rTMS benefits functional fine motor task performance, perhaps by altering cortical excitability across a network of brain regions. Further, these data may provide the foundation for a larger investigation of the effects of noninvasive brain stimulation over the SMA in individuals with PD.
Fujisawa, Yuhki; Okajima, Yasutomo
There are several functional tests for evaluating manual performance; however, quantitative manual tests for ataxia, especially those for evaluating handwriting, are limited. This study aimed to investigate the characteristics of cerebellar ataxia by analyzing handwriting, with a special emphasis on correlation between the movement of the pen tip and the movement of the finger or wrist. This was an observational study. Eleven people who were right-handed and had cerebellar ataxia and 17 people to serve as controls were recruited. The Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia was used to grade the severity of ataxia. Handwriting movements of both hands were analyzed. The time required for writing a character, the variability of individual handwriting, and the correlation between the movement of the pen tip and the movement of the finger or wrist were evaluated for participants with ataxia and control participants. The writing time was longer and the velocity profile and shape of the track of movement of the pen tip were more variable in participants with ataxia than in control participants. For participants with ataxia, the direction of movement of the pen tip deviated more from that of the finger or wrist, and the shape of the track of movement of the pen tip differed more from that of the finger or wrist. The severity of upper extremity ataxia measured with the Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia was mostly correlated with the variability parameters. Furthermore, it was correlated with the directional deviation of the trajectory of movement of the pen tip from that of the finger and with increased dissimilarity of the shapes of the tracks. The results may have been influenced by the scale and parameters used to measure movement. Ataxic handwriting with increased movement noise is characterized by irregular pen tip movements unconstrained by the finger or wrist. The severity of ataxia is correlated with these unconstrained movements. © 2015 American
Yavari, Fatemeh; Mahdavi, Shirin; Towhidkhah, Farzad; Ahmadi-Pajouh, Mohammad-Ali; Ekhtiari, Hamed; Darainy, Mohammad
Despite several pieces of evidence, which suggest that the human brain employs internal models for motor control and learning, the location of these models in the brain is not yet clear. In this study, we used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to manipulate right cerebellar function, while subjects adapt to a visuomotor task. We investigated the effect of this manipulation on the internal forward and inverse models by measuring two kinds of behavior: generalization of training in one direction to neighboring directions (as a proxy for inverse models) and localization of the hand position after movement without visual feedback (as a proxy for forward model). The experimental results showed no effect of cerebellar tDCS on generalization, but significant effect on localization. These observations support the idea that the cerebellum is a possible brain region for internal forward, but not inverse model formation. We also used a realistic human head model to calculate current density distribution in the brain. The result of this model confirmed the passage of current through the cerebellum. Moreover, to further explain some observed experimental results, we modeled the visuomotor adaptation process with the help of a biologically inspired method known as population coding. The effect of tDCS was also incorporated in the model. The results of this modeling study closely match our experimental data and provide further evidence in line with the idea that tDCS manipulates FM's function in the cerebellum.
Prochnow, D; Bermúdez i Badia, S; Schmidt, J; Duff, A; Brunheim, S; Kleiser, R; Seitz, R J; Verschure, P F M J
The Rehabilitation Gaming System (RGS) has been designed as a flexible, virtual-reality (VR)-based device for rehabilitation of neurological patients. Recently, training of visuomotor processing with the RGS was shown to effectively improve arm function in acute and chronic stroke patients. It is assumed that the VR-based training protocol related to RGS creates conditions that aid recovery by virtue of the human mirror neuron system. Here, we provide evidence for this assumption by identifying the brain areas involved in controlling the catching of approaching colored balls in the virtual environment of the RGS. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging of 18 right-handed healthy subjects (24 ± 3 years) in both active and imagination conditions. We observed that the imagery of target catching was related to activation of frontal, parietal, temporal, cingulate and cerebellar regions. We interpret these activations in relation to object processing, attention, mirror mechanisms, and motor intention. Active catching followed an anticipatory mode, and resulted in significantly less activity in the motor control areas. Our results provide preliminary support for the hypothesis underlying RGS that this novel neurorehabilitation approach engages human mirror mechanisms that can be employed for visuomotor training. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Mahé, Sylvain; Braud, Raphaël; Gaussier, Philippe; Quoy, Mathias; Pitti, Alexandre
The so-called self-other correspondence problem in imitation demands to find the transformation that maps the motor dynamics of one partner to our own. This requires a general purpose sensorimotor mechanism that transforms an external fixation-point (partner's shoulder) reference frame to one's own body-centered reference frame. We propose that the mechanism of gain-modulation observed in parietal neurons may generally serve these types of transformations by binding the sensory signals across the modalities with radial basis functions (tensor products) on the one hand and by permitting the learning of contextual reference frames on the other hand. In a shoulder-elbow robotic experiment, gain-field neurons (GF) intertwine the visuo-motor variables so that their amplitude depends on them all. In situations of modification of the body-centered reference frame, the error detected in the visuo-motor mapping can serve then to learn the transformation between the robot's current sensorimotor space and the new one. These situations occur for instance when we turn the head on its axis (visual transformation), when we use a tool (body modification), or when we interact with a partner (embodied simulation). Our results defend the idea that the biologically-inspired mechanism of gain modulation found in parietal neurons can serve as a basic structure for achieving nonlinear mapping in spatial tasks as well as in cooperative and social functions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Collett, Johnny; Franssen, Marloes; Winward, Charlotte; Izadi, Hooshang; Meaney, Andy; Mahmoud, Wala; Bogdanovic, Marko; Tims, Martin; Wade, Derick; Dawes, Helen
To report on the control group of a trial primarily designed to investigate exercise for improving mobility in people with Parkinson's disease (pwP). The control group undertook a handwriting intervention to control for attention and time spent practising a specific activity. Secondary analysis of a two-arm parallel phase II randomized controlled trial with blind assessment. Community. PwP able to walk ⩾100 m and with no contraindication to exercise were recruited from the Thames Valley, UK, and randomized (1:1) to exercise or handwriting, via a concealed computer-generated list. Handwriting was undertaken at home and exercise in community facilities; both were delivered through workbooks with monthly support visits and involved practice for 1 hour, twice weekly, over a period of six months. Handwriting was assessed, at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months, using a pangram giving writing speed, amplitude (area) and progressive reduction in amplitude (ratio). The Movement Disorder Society (MDS)-Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) item 2.7 measured self-reported handwriting deficits. In all, 105 pwP were recruited (analysed: n = 51 handwriting, n = 54 exercise). A total of 40 pwP adhered to the handwriting programme, most completing ⩾1 session/week. Moderate effects were found for amplitude (total area: d = 0.32; 95% confidence interval (CI): -0.11 to 0.7; P = 0.13) in favour of handwriting over a period of12 months; effects for writing speed and ratio parameters were small ≤0.11. Self-reported handwriting difficulties also favoured handwriting (UPDRS 2.7: odds ratio (OR) = 0.55; 95% CI: 0.34 to 0.91; P = 0.02). No adverse effects were reported. PwP generally adhere to self-directed home handwriting which may provide benefit with minimal risk. Encouraging effects were found in writing amplitude and, moreover, perceived ability.
Schwellnus, Heidi; Carnahan, Heather; Kushki, Azadeh; Polatajko, Helene; Missiuna, Cheryl; Chau, Tom
To investigate the impact of common pencil grasp patterns on the speed and legibility of handwriting after a 10-minute copy task, intended to induce muscle fatigue, in typically developing children and in those non-proficient in handwriting. A total of 120 Grade 4 students completed a standardised handwriting assessment before and after a 10-minute copy task. The students indicated the perceived difficulty of the handwriting task at baseline and after 10 minutes. The students also completed a self-report questionnaire regarding their handwriting proficiency upon completion. The majority of the students rated higher effort after the 10-minute copy task than at baseline (rank sum: P = 0.00001). The effort ratings were similar for the different grasp patterns (multiple linear regression: F = 0.37, P = 0.895). For both typically developing children and those with handwriting issues, the legibility of the writing samples decreased after the 10-minute copy task but the speed of writing increased. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY: The quality of the handwriting decreased after the 10-minute copy task; however, there was no difference in the quality or speed scores among the different pencil grasps before and after the copy task. The dynamic tripod pencil grasp did not offer any advantage over the lateral tripod or the dynamic or lateral quadrupod pencil grasps in terms of quality of handwriting after a 10-minute copy task. These four pencil grasp patterns performed equivalently. Our findings question the practice of having students adopt the dynamic tripod pencil grasp. © 2012 The Authors Australian Occupational Therapy Journal © 2012 Occupational Therapy Australia.
Harada, Takako; Okajima, Yasutomo; Takahashi, Hidetoshi
To investigate the effects of hemiparesis on handwriting using a 3-dimensional movement analyzer. Comparative case study. Ambulatory care clinic. Right-handed patients (n=25; mean age +/- SD, 62.3+/-10y) with mild right hemiparesis secondary to subcortical stroke, and age-matched (n=10; 65.6+/-13y) and age-unmatched (n=15; 32.4+/-10y) control subjects. Not applicable. Time required to write a Japanese character of 2 different sizes and average speed of handwriting at the pen tip. Average radii of tracks of the moving pen tip, metacarpal head of the index finger, and distal end of the forearm during writing. Correlation coefficients of the instantaneous speed-time graph of the pen tip with that of the index finger and with that of the distal forearm during writing. Time for writing with the hemiparetic right hand was longer than that with the unaffected left hand (P=.05 approximately .03), while it was shorter in healthy control subjects (P=.07 approximately .05). In contrast with the left-hand writing, the track radius of the pen tip of the right-hand writing in patients with hemiparesis with normal joint position sense was significantly larger than that of the finger or distal forearm (P=.01). The finding was the same as in the young and elderly control subjects. This right-left difference disappeared in the patients with hemiparesis with position sense impairment. The correlation coefficient of speed between the pen tip and the finger was larger in right-hand than left-hand writing in the control and sensory-normative patients with hemiparesis even though the difference was significant only in the healthy elderly subjects (P=.03). Irrespective of the right or left hand use, the correlation coefficient between the pen tip and the finger or distal forearm significantly increased as the character size increased (P=.03 approximately 6 x10(-6)) in all subjects and patients. However, this size-related difference was less significant in the patients with sensory
Esther J Smits
Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To assess whether standardized handwriting can provide quantitative measures to distinguish patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease from age- and gender-matched healthy control participants. DESIGN: Exploratory study. Pen tip trajectories were recorded during circle, spiral and line drawing and repeated character 'elelelel' and sentence writing, performed by Parkinson patients and healthy control participants. Parkinson patients were tested after overnight withdrawal of anti-Parkinsonian medication. SETTING: University Medical Center Groningen, tertiary care, the Netherlands. PARTICIPANTS: Patients with Parkinson's disease (n = 10; mean age 69.0 years; 6 male and healthy controls (n = 10; mean age 68.1 years; 6 male. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Movement time and velocity to detect bradykinesia and the size of writing to detect micrographia. A rest recording to investigate the presence of a rest-tremor, by frequency analysis. RESULTS: Mean disease duration in the Parkinson group was 4.4 years and the patients were in modified Hoehn-Yahr stages 1-2.5. In general, Parkinson patients were slower than healthy control participants. Median time per repetition, median velocity and median acceleration of the sentence task and median velocity of the elel task differed significantly between Parkinson patients and healthy control participants (all p<0.0014. Parkinson patients also wrote smaller than healthy control participants and the width of the 'e' in the elel task was significantly smaller in Parkinson patients compared to healthy control participants (p<0.0014. A rest-tremor was detected in the three patients who were clinically assessed as having rest-tremor. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that standardized handwriting can provide objective measures for bradykinesia, tremor and micrographia to distinguish Parkinson patients from healthy control participants.
Bidraget diskuterer de forskellige intergrationsopfattelse i Danmark - og hvad der kan forstås ved vellykket integration......Bidraget diskuterer de forskellige intergrationsopfattelse i Danmark - og hvad der kan forstås ved vellykket integration...
Meyers, Colleen; McLaughlin, T. F.; Derby, Mark; Weber, Kimberly P.; Robison, Milena
The ability to write one's own name legibly is a critical lifelong skill for academic success. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of the Handwriting Without Tears® program on teaching a four year-old how to write his first name using proper size, form, and tool. The participant was a four year-old boy in a self-contained…
Self-esteem has long been considered an essential component of good mental health. Coopersmith's Self-esteem Inventory and Wellingham-Jones Self-esteem Values List applied to handwritings were given to 15- to 19-yr.-old students to explore the former's usefulness in designing programs to enhance self-esteem. Students were from 4 high schools representing the socioeconomic range of a small rural California city. Handwritings of the 25 students scoring highest and the 25 scoring lowest on self-esteem were graphometrically evaluated. Chi squared showed total agreement between the two tests in 62% of the cases, partial agreement in 30%, complete disagreement in 8%. This suggests Coopersmith's inventory may be a useful tool for school administrators, provided its limitations are understood. Similarities and differences between and within the high and low self-esteem groups were discussed.
Kanazawa, Yuji; Nakamura, Kimihiro; Ishii, Toru; Aso, Toshihiko; Yamazaki, Hiroshi; Omori, Koichi
Sign language is an essential medium for everyday social interaction for deaf people and plays a critical role in verbal learning. In particular, language development in those people should heavily rely on the verbal short-term memory (STM) via sign language. Most previous studies compared neural activations during signed language processing in deaf signers and those during spoken language processing in hearing speakers. For sign language users, it thus remains unclear how visuospatial inputs are converted into the verbal STM operating in the left-hemisphere language network. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the present study investigated neural activation while bilinguals of spoken and signed language were engaged in a sequence memory span task. On each trial, participants viewed a nonsense syllable sequence presented either as written letters or as fingerspelling (4-7 syllables in length) and then held the syllable sequence for 12 s. Behavioral analysis revealed that participants relied on phonological memory while holding verbal information regardless of the type of input modality. At the neural level, this maintenance stage broadly activated the left-hemisphere language network, including the inferior frontal gyrus, supplementary motor area, superior temporal gyrus and inferior parietal lobule, for both letter and fingerspelling conditions. Interestingly, while most participants reported that they relied on phonological memory during maintenance, direct comparisons between letters and fingers revealed strikingly different patterns of neural activation during the same period. Namely, the effortful maintenance of fingerspelling inputs relative to letter inputs activated the left superior parietal lobule and dorsal premotor area, i.e., brain regions known to play a role in visuomotor analysis of hand/arm movements. These findings suggest that the dorsal visuomotor neural system subserves verbal learning via sign language by relaying gestural inputs to
Eva Maria Hammer
Full Text Available Modulation of sensorimotor rhythms (SMR was suggested as a control signal for brain-computer interfaces (BCI. Yet, there is a population of users estimated between 10 to 50% not able to achieve reliable control and only about 20% of users achieve high (80-100% performance. Predicting performance prior to BCI use would facilitate selection of the most feasible system for an individual, thus constitute a practical benefit for the user, and increase our knowledge about the correlates of BCI control. In a recent study, we predicted SMR-BCI performance from psychological variables that were assessed prior to the BCI sessions and BCI control was supported with machine-learning techniques. We described two significant psychological predictors, namely the visuo-motor coordination ability and the ability to concentrate on the task. The purpose of the current study was to replicate these results thereby validating these predictors within a neurofeedback based SMR-BCI that involved no machine learning. Thirty-three healthy BCI novices participated in a calibration session and three further neurofeedback training sessions. Two variables were related with mean SMR-BCI performance: (1 A measure for the accuracy of fine motor skills, i.e. a trade for a person’s visuo-motor control ability and (2 subject’s attentional impulsivity. In a linear regression they accounted for almost 20% in variance of SMR-BCI performance, but predictor (1 failed significance. Nevertheless, on the basis of our prior regression model for sensorimotor control ability we could predict current SMR-BCI performance with an average prediction error of M = 12.07%. In more than 50% of the participants, the prediction error was smaller than 10%. Hence, psychological variables played a moderate role in predicting SMR-BCI performance in a neurofeedback approach that involved no machine learning. Future studies are needed to further consolidate (or reject the present predictors.
Full Text Available An important issue in motor learning/adaptation research is how the brain accepts the error information necessary for maintaining and improving task performance in a changing environment. The present study focuses on the effect of timing of error feedback. Previous research has demonstrated that adaptation to displacement of the visual field by prisms in a manual reaching task is significantly slowed by delayed visual feedback of the endpoint, suggesting that error feedback is most effective when given at the end of a movement. To further elucidate the brain mechanism by which error information is accepted in visuomotor adaptation, we tested whether error acceptance is linked to the end of a given task or to the end of an executed movement. We conducted a behavioral experiment using a virtual shooting task in which subjects controlled their wrist movements to meet a target with a cursor as accurately as possible. We manipulated the timing of visual feedback of the impact position so that it occurred either ahead of or behind the true time of impact. In another condition, the impact timing was explicitly indicated by an additional cue. The magnitude of the aftereffect significantly varied depending on the timing of feedback (p < 0.05, Friedman's Test. Interestingly, two distinct peaks of aftereffect were observed around movement-end and around task-end, irrespective of the existence of the timing cue. However, the peak around task-end was sharper when the timing cue was given. Our results demonstrate that the brain efficiently accepts error information at both movement-end and task-end, suggesting that two different learning mechanisms may underlie visuomotor transformation.
Full Text Available The present behavioral study readdresses the question of habit learning in Parkinson's disease. Patients were early onset, non-demented, dopa-responsive, candidates for surgical treatment, similar to those we found earlier as suffering greater dopamine depletion in the putamen than in the caudate nucleus. The task was the same conditional associative learning task as that used previously in monkeys and healthy humans to unveil the striatum involvement in habit learning. Sixteen patients and 20 age- and education-matched healthy control subjects learned sets of 3 visuo-motor associations between complex patterns and joystick displacements during two testing sessions separated by a few hours. We distinguished errors preceding versus following the first correct response to compare patients' performance during the earliest phase of learning dominated by goal-directed actions with that observed later on, when responses start to become habitual. The disease significantly retarded both learning phases, especially in patients under sixty years of age. However, only the late phase deficit was disease severity-dependent and persisted on the second testing session. These findings provide the first corroboration in Parkinson patients of two ideas well-established in the animal literature. The first is the idea that associating visual stimuli to motor acts is a form of habit learning that engages the striatum. It is confirmed here by the global impairment in visuo-motor learning induced by Parkinson's disease. The second idea is that goal-directed behaviors are predominantly caudate-dependent whereas habitual responses are primarily putamen-dependent. At the advanced Parkinson's disease stages tested here, dopamine depletion is greater in the putamen than in the caudate nucleus. Accordingly, the late phase of learning corresponding to the emergence of habitual responses was more vulnerable to the disease than the early phase dominated by goal
Gómez Rodríguez, Rafael Ángel
To say that someone possesses integrity is to claim that that person is almost predictable about responses to specific situations, that he or she can prudentially judge and to act correctly. There is a closed interrelationship between integrity and autonomy, and the autonomy rests on the deeper moral claim of all humans to integrity of the person. Integrity has two senses of significance for medical ethic: one sense refers to the integrity of the person in the bodily, psychosocial and intellectual elements; and in the second sense, the integrity is the virtue. Another facet of integrity of the person is la integrity of values we cherish and espouse. The physician must be a person of integrity if the integrity of the patient is to be safeguarded. The autonomy has reduced the violations in the past, but the character and virtues of the physician are the ultimate safeguard of autonomy of patient. A field very important in medicine is the scientific research. It is the character of the investigator that determines the moral quality of research. The problem arises when legitimate self-interests are replaced by selfish, particularly when human subjects are involved. The final safeguard of moral quality of research is the character and conscience of the investigator. Teaching must be relevant in the scientific field, but the most effective way to teach virtue ethics is through the example of the a respected scientist.
Bradnam, Lynley V; Graetz, Lynton J; McDonnell, Michelle N; Ridding, Michael C
There is increasing evidence that the cerebellum has a role in the pathophysiology of primary focal hand dystonia and might provide an intervention target for non-invasive brain stimulation to improve function of the affected hand. The primary objective of this study was to determine if cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) improves handwriting and cyclic drawing kinematics in people with hand dystonia, by reducing cerebellar-brain inhibition (CBI) evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Eight people with dystonia (5 writer's dystonia, 3 musician's dystonia) and eight age-matched controls completed the study and underwent cerebellar anodal, cathodal and sham tDCS in separate sessions. Dystonia severity was assessed using the Writer's Cramp Rating Scale (WRCS) and the Arm Dystonia Disability Scale (ADDS). The kinematic measures that differentiated the groups were; mean stroke frequency during handwriting and fast cyclic drawing and average pen pressure during light cyclic drawing. TMS measures of cortical excitability were no different between people with FHD and controls. There was a moderate, negative relationship between TMS-evoked CBI at baseline and the WRCS in dystonia. Anodal cerebellar tDCS reduced handwriting mean stroke frequency and average pen pressure, and increased speed and reduced pen pressure during fast cyclic drawing. Kinematic measures were not associated with a decrease in CBI within an individual. In conclusion, cerebellar anodal tDCS appeared to improve kinematics of handwriting and circle drawing tasks; but the underlying neurophysiological mechanism remains uncertain. A study in a larger homogeneous population is needed to further investigate the possible therapeutic benefit of cerebellar tDCS in dystonia.
Jolly, Caroline; Gentaz, Edouard
Poor handwriting is a core deficit in Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). In a previous study, we compared the evolution of cursive letters handwriting in a girl with DCD throughout her second-grade year with that of typically developing (TD) children. We found that her handwriting evolved much less than that of TD children and remained similar to that of pre-schoolers at all stages, suggesting that her handwriting skills have reached a steady state level. We present here a continuation of this work, in which we focused on the velocity aspects of handwriting in another French child with DCD. Indeed, different velocity patterns have been observed in Chinese and English children with DCD. In the French cursive style of writing, consecutive letters are joined, a major difference with the English script style of writing. We thus analyzed the handwriting of a second-grade French girl with DCD, not only for isolated letters but also for syllables and words, in comparison to that of TD first-graders (6-7 years old; N = 85) and second-graders (7-8 years old; N = 88). Each written track was digitized, and nine kinematic parameters were measured to evaluate writing fluency. Results showed that the productions of the child with DCD were more similar to those of first-graders than to those of second-graders. In line with our previous study, the most discriminative parameters between the child with DCD and TD children were size and mean speed. Moreover, her handwriting was less fluent than that of TD children. In contrast to previous observations, we observed a higher writing velocity of the child with DCD when compared to TD children, whatever the complexity of the item, and no significant difference with TD children in the pausing time during writing. These differences may reflect linguistic specificities. For syllables and words, each letter was treated separately as a single unit, thus reflecting a problem in anticipation and automation.
Jolly, Caroline; Gentaz, Edouard
Poor handwriting is a core deficit in Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). In a previous study, we compared the evolution of cursive letters handwriting in a girl with DCD throughout her second-grade year with that of typically developing (TD) children. We found that her handwriting evolved much less than that of TD children and remained similar to that of pre-schoolers at all stages, suggesting that her handwriting skills have reached a steady state level. We present here a continuation of this work, in which we focused on the velocity aspects of handwriting in another French child with DCD. Indeed, different velocity patterns have been observed in Chinese and English children with DCD. In the French cursive style of writing, consecutive letters are joined, a major difference with the English script style of writing. We thus analyzed the handwriting of a second-grade French girl with DCD, not only for isolated letters but also for syllables and words, in comparison to that of TD first-graders (6–7 years old; N = 85) and second-graders (7–8 years old; N = 88). Each written track was digitized, and nine kinematic parameters were measured to evaluate writing fluency. Results showed that the productions of the child with DCD were more similar to those of first-graders than to those of second-graders. In line with our previous study, the most discriminative parameters between the child with DCD and TD children were size and mean speed. Moreover, her handwriting was less fluent than that of TD children. In contrast to previous observations, we observed a higher writing velocity of the child with DCD when compared to TD children, whatever the complexity of the item, and no significant difference with TD children in the pausing time during writing. These differences may reflect linguistic specificities. For syllables and words, each letter was treated separately as a single unit, thus reflecting a problem in anticipation and automation. PMID:24478735
Denise K. Donica
Full Text Available Background: Limited tools exist to measure handwriting readiness skills of pre-kindergarten students. This study was a preliminary exploration of content validity of the Shore Handwriting Screening (SHS and the newly developed Score Sheet with the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, Second Edition (BOT-2 in 4- and 5-year-old pre-kindergarten students. Because socioeconomic status (SES is known to impact handwriting skills, data from two different socioeconomic groups were collected. Method: Students from a Lower SES group (n = 36 and a Higher SES group (n = 14 completed the SHS and fine motor composite of the BOT-2. Pearson’s correlation was used to compare scores on the two assessments within the two groups. Results: SHS overall percentage scores were compared to standard scores and composite scores of the BOT-2. SHS scores displayed moderate to high correlation with fine manual control portions of the BOT-2 for the Lower SES group and low to moderate correlation for the same portion in the Higher SES group. Conclusion: SHS and the Score Sheet correlate to fine and visual-motor skill subtests on the fine manual control portions of the BOT-2, which supports the need for further research on the reliability and validity of the Score Sheet for use in practice.
Steele, Emalia C.; McLaughlin, Thomas; Derby, K. Mark; Weber, Kimberly P.; Donica, Denise K.; McKenzie, Michelle
The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the prewriting and handwriting curriculum Handwriting Without Tears® (HWT) in a preschool setting with a single student who has developmental delays and a suspected Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis. Data were collected during the regular preschool day. The behavior…
Kiefer, Markus; Schuler, Stefanie; Mayer, Carmen; Trumpp, Natalie M; Hille, Katrin; Sachse, Steffi
Digital writing devices associated with the use of computers, tablet PCs, or mobile phones are increasingly replacing writing by hand. It is, however, controversially discussed how writing modes influence reading and writing performance in children at the start of literacy. On the one hand, the easiness of typing on digital devices may accelerate reading and writing in young children, who have less developed sensory-motor skills. On the other hand, the meaningful coupling between action and perception during handwriting, which establishes sensory-motor memory traces, could facilitate written language acquisition. In order to decide between these theoretical alternatives, for the present study, we developed an intense training program for preschool children attending the German kindergarten with 16 training sessions. Using closely matched letter learning games, eight letters of the German alphabet were trained either by handwriting with a pen on a sheet of paper or by typing on a computer keyboard. Letter recognition, naming, and writing performance as well as word reading and writing performance were assessed. Results did not indicate a superiority of typing training over handwriting training in any of these tasks. In contrast, handwriting training was superior to typing training in word writing, and, as a tendency, in word reading. The results of our study, therefore, support theories of action-perception coupling assuming a facilitatory influence of sensory-motor representations established during handwriting on reading and writing.
Kiefer, Markus; Schuler, Stefanie; Mayer, Carmen; Trumpp, Natalie M.; Hille, Katrin; Sachse, Steffi
Digital writing devices associated with the use of computers, tablet PCs, or mobile phones are increasingly replacing writing by hand. It is, however, controversially discussed how writing modes influence reading and writing performance in children at the start of literacy. On the one hand, the easiness of typing on digital devices may accelerate reading and writing in young children, who have less developed sensory-motor skills. On the other hand, the meaningful coupling between action and perception during handwriting, which establishes sensory-motor memory traces, could facilitate written language acquisition. In order to decide between these theoretical alternatives, for the present study, we developed an intense training program for preschool children attending the German kindergarten with 16 training sessions. Using closely matched letter learning games, eight letters of the German alphabet were trained either by handwriting with a pen on a sheet of paper or by typing on a computer keyboard. Letter recognition, naming, and writing performance as well as word reading and writing performance were assessed. Results did not indicate a superiority of typing training over handwriting training in any of these tasks. In contrast, handwriting training was superior to typing training in word writing, and, as a tendency, in word reading. The results of our study, therefore, support theories of action-perception coupling assuming a facilitatory influence of sensory-motor representations established during handwriting on reading and writing. PMID:26770286
D'Mello, G D; Duffy, E A; Miles, S S
A conveyor belt task for assessing visuo-motor coordination in the marmoset is described. Animals are motivated by apple, a preferred food, under a state of minimal food deprivation. The apparatus used was designed to test animals within their home cages and not restrained in any way, thus avoiding possible confounding factors associated with restraint stress. Stable baseline levels of performance were reached by all animals in a median of 24 sessions. Performance was shown to be differentially sensitive to the effects of four psychoactive drugs. Moderate doses of diazepam, chlorpromazine and pentobarbital disrupted visuo-motor coordination in a dose-related manner. The possibility that disruption of performance observed at higher doses may have resulted from non-specific actions of these drugs such as decreases in feeding motivation were not supported by results from ancillary experiments. Changes in performance characteristic of high dose effects were similar in nature to changes observed when the degree of task difficulty was increased. Doses of d-amphetamine up to and including those reported to produce signs of stereotypy failed to influence performance. The potential of the conveyor belt task for measuring visuo-motor coordination in both primate and rodent species is discussed.
Full Text Available Abstract Background: Learning disorders, especially dysgraphia, are among the students' educational disabilities. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of two intervention methods of neurofeedback training and the movement program on the handwriting performance of 9-11 years old children with dysgraphia. Materials and Methods: This was a quasi-experimental comparative study with a pretest-posttest design. Thirty right-handed boy students aged 9 to 11 years old were selected from elementary and middle schools (district 4 in Karaj, based on the dysgraphia Fallahchai test. Participants were randomly divided into three groups each included 10 subjects. The movement program group did activities with emphasis on visual-motor coordination, fine motor control, visual-motor integrity, and eye-hand coordination 3 sessions per week, for 4 weeks (total of twelve sessions. The neurofeedback group did a training protocol (decreasing beta wave and increasing alpha wave at C3 zone in 4 weeks, 3 sessions per week each session for 20 minutes. The control group did not any training intervention. Results: The data analysis showed that there were significant differences between two groups of intervention and the control group. The two experimental groups had a significant improvement compared to the control group. Also, the results showed that the selected movement program is more effective than neurofeedback training intervention. Conclusion: Overall, the selected movement program was more effective than the neurofeedback training and control group. Therefore, it is suggested that the movement program intervention should be used to improve the handwriting performance of students with poor handwritten quality.
Cardoso, Monique Herrera; Capellini, Simone Aparecida
Perform a cross-cultural adaptation of the Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting 17+ (DASH 17+) for Brazilians. Evaluation of (1) conceptual, item and (2) semantic equivalence, with assistance of four translators and application of a pilot study to 36 students. (1) The concepts and items are equivalent in the British and Brazilian cultures. (2) Adaptations were made concerning the English language pangram used in copying tasks and selection of the lower-case, cursive handwriting in the alphabet-writing task. Application of the pilot study verified acceptability and understanding of the proposed tasks by the students. The Brazilian Portuguese version of the DASH 17+ was presented after finalization of the conceptual, item and semantic equivalence of the instrument. Further studies on psychometric properties should be conducted with the purpose of measuring the speed of handwriting in youngsters and adults with greater reliability and validity to the procedure.
Full Text Available Document analysis tasks such as pattern recognition, word spotting or segmentation, require comprehensive databases for training and validation. Not only variations in writing style but also the used list of words is of importance in the case that training samples should reflect the input of a specific area of application. However, generation of training samples is expensive in the sense of manpower and time, particularly if complete text pages including complex ground truth are required. This is why there is a lack of such databases, especially for Arabic, the second most popular language. However, Arabic handwriting recognition involves different preprocessing, segmentation and recognition methods. Each requires particular ground truth or samples to enable optimal training and validation, which are often not covered by the currently available databases. To overcome this issue, we propose a system that synthesizes Arabic handwritten words and text pages and generates corresponding detailed ground truth. We use these syntheses to validate a new, segmentation based system that recognizes handwritten Arabic words. We found that a modification of an Active Shape Model based character classifiers—that we proposed earlier—improves the word recognition accuracy. Further improvements are achieved, by using a vocabulary of the 50,000 most common Arabic words for error correction.
Dinges, Laslo; Al-Hamadi, Ayoub; Elzobi, Moftah; El-Etriby, Sherif
Document analysis tasks such as pattern recognition, word spotting or segmentation, require comprehensive databases for training and validation. Not only variations in writing style but also the used list of words is of importance in the case that training samples should reflect the input of a specific area of application. However, generation of training samples is expensive in the sense of manpower and time, particularly if complete text pages including complex ground truth are required. This is why there is a lack of such databases, especially for Arabic, the second most popular language. However, Arabic handwriting recognition involves different preprocessing, segmentation and recognition methods. Each requires particular ground truth or samples to enable optimal training and validation, which are often not covered by the currently available databases. To overcome this issue, we propose a system that synthesizes Arabic handwritten words and text pages and generates corresponding detailed ground truth. We use these syntheses to validate a new, segmentation based system that recognizes handwritten Arabic words. We found that a modification of an Active Shape Model based character classifiers-that we proposed earlier-improves the word recognition accuracy. Further improvements are achieved, by using a vocabulary of the 50,000 most common Arabic words for error correction.
Full Text Available To what extent is handwritten word production based on phonological codes? A few studies conducted in Western languages have recently provided evidence showing that phonology contributes to the retrieval of graphemic properties in written output tasks. Less is known about how orthographic production works in languages with non-alphabetic scripts such as written Chinese. We report a Stroop study in which Chinese participants wrote the colour of characters on a digital graphic tablet; characters were either neutral, or homophonic to the target (congruent, or homophonic to an alternative (incongruent. Facilitation was found from congruent homophonic distractors, but only when the homophone shared the same tone with the target. This finding suggests a contribution of phonology to written word production. A second experiment served as a control experiment to exclude the possibility that the effect in Experiment 1 had an exclusively semantic locus. Overall, the findings offer new insight into the relative contribution of phonology to handwriting, particularly in non-Western languages.
Chherawala, Youssouf; Roy, Partha Pratim; Cheriet, Mohamed
The performance of handwriting recognition systems is dependent on the features extracted from the word image. A large body of features exists in the literature, but no method has yet been proposed to identify the most promising of these, other than a straightforward comparison based on the recognition rate. In this paper, we propose a framework for feature set evaluation based on a collaborative setting. We use a weighted vote combination of recurrent neural network (RNN) classifiers, each trained with a particular feature set. This combination is modeled in a probabilistic framework as a mixture model and two methods for weight estimation are described. The main contribution of this paper is to quantify the importance of feature sets through the combination weights, which reflect their strength and complementarity. We chose the RNN classifier because of its state-of-the-art performance. Also, we provide the first feature set benchmark for this classifier. We evaluated several feature sets on the IFN/ENIT and RIMES databases of Arabic and Latin script, respectively. The resulting combination model is competitive with state-of-the-art systems.
Wang, Hongyuan; Gao, Wenzhi; Wang, Yuan
Handwriting drawing board is not only a subject which can be used to write and draw, but also a method to measure and process weak signals. This design adopts 8051 single chip microprocessor as the main controller. It applies a constant-current source to copper plate and collects the voltage value according to the resistance divider effect. Then it amplifies the signal with low-noise and high-precision amplifier AD620 which is placed in the low impedance and anti-interference pen. It converts analog signal to digital signal by an 11-channel, 12-bit A/D converter TLC2543. Adoption of average filtering algorithm can effectively improve the measuring accuracy, reduce the error and make the collected voltage signal more stable. The accurate position can be detected by scanning the horizontal and vertical ordinates with the analog switch via the internal bridge of module L298 which can change the direction of X-Y axis signal scan. DM12864 is used as man-machine interface and this hominization design is convenient for man-machine communication. This collecting system has high accuracy, high stability and strong anti-interference capability. It's easy to control and has very large development space in the future.
Othman, Muhammad Fakri; Senan, Norhalina; Suparjoh, Suriawati; Keay-Bright, Wendy
We have proposed a method to assist children with coordination difficulties or dyspraxia to improve their pre-handwriting skills. We have chosen an animation technique called `Rotoscopy', a method that normally been used in animation and film production and adapted it to Rotoscopy Pre-handwriting Interface (RPI) prototypes using the interactive whiteboard (IWB) as interaction device. The motivation of this research is to discover how efficient if Rotoscopy is used beyond its normal purposes; and how it gives benefits in terms of behavioural and motivational aspects rather than commercial and profit point of view. Implementation of RPI prototypes has taken place through series of workshops with a teacher and a group of children with handwriting difficulties at a special education school in Caerphilly, Cardiff, United Kingdom. In the workshops children were given pre-handwriting activities in two different environments. They have been trained to use RPI prototypes and IWB, as well as pen and paper tasks. Their activities and action have been observed and recorded using video camera. Evaluation method is based-on video analysis of children's pre-handwriting result and their reaction and motivation during the workshop. It was learnt that majority of children who used RPI prototypes and IWB have produced better results in terms of accuracy of the drawing as compared to results of pen and paper activities. Furthermore the children were more motivated to use the prototypes and IWB rather than using pen and paper. The study's contribution to knowledge includes offering a new way to improve children's pre-handwriting skills using computer animation technique and touch-based devices.
Menasri, Farès; Louradour, Jérôme; Bianne-Bernard, Anne-Laure; Kermorvant, Christopher
This paper describes the system for the recognition of French handwriting submitted by A2iA to the competition organized at ICDAR2011 using the Rimes database. This system is composed of several recognizers based on three different recognition technologies, combined using a novel combination method. A framework multi-word recognition based on weighted finite state transducers is presented, using an explicit word segmentation, a combination of isolated word recognizers and a language model. The system was tested both for isolated word recognition and for multi-word line recognition and submitted to the RIMES-ICDAR2011 competition. This system outperformed all previously proposed systems on these tasks.
Olwig, Karen Fog
, while the countries have adopted disparate policies and ideologies, differences in the actual treatment and attitudes towards immigrants and refugees in everyday life are less clear, due to parallel integration programmes based on strong similarities in the welfare systems and in cultural notions...... of equality in the three societies. Finally, it shows that family relations play a central role in immigrants’ and refugees’ establishment of a new life in the receiving societies, even though the welfare society takes on many of the social and economic functions of the family....
Sowell, Elizabeth R.; Johnson, Arianne; Kan, Eric; Lu, Lisa H.; Van Horn, John Darrell; Toga, Arthur W.; O’Connor, Mary J.; Bookheimer, Susan Y.
Brain structural abnormalities and neurocognitive dysfunction have been observed in individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). Little is known about how white matter integrity is related to these functional and morphological deficits. We used a combination of diffusion tensor and T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate white matter integrity in individuals with FASDs and related these findings to neurocognitive deficits. Seventeen children and adolescents with FASDs were compared with 19 typically developing age-and gender-matched controls. Lower fractional anisotropy (FA) was observed in individuals with FASDs relative to controls in the right lateral temporal lobe and bilaterally in the lateral aspects of the splenium of the corpus callosum. White matter density was also lower in some, but not all regions in which FA was lower. FA abnormalities were confirmed to be in areas of white matter in post hoc region of interest analyses, further supporting that less myelin or disorganized fiber tracts are associated with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure. Significant correlations between performance on a test of visuomotor integration and FA in bilateral splenium, but not temporal regions were observed within the FASD group. Correlations between the visuomotor task and FA within the splenium were not significant with in the control group, and were not significant for measures of reading ability. This suggests that this region of white matter is particularly susceptible to damage from prenatal alcohol exposure and that disruption of splenial fibers in this group is associated with poorer visuomotor integration. PMID:18256251
Griffith, Jessica; McLaughlin, T. F.; Neyman, Jen; Donica, Denise K.; Robison, Milena
The purpose of this study was to evaluate and measure the effectiveness of Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) modified gray block paper with letter writing on two preschool students diagnosed with developmental delays in pre-academics. Two students were selected from a self-contained special education preschool classroom in the Pacific Northwest. All…
Gorbet, Diana J; Sergio, Lauren E
A history of action video game (AVG) playing is associated with improvements in several visuospatial and attention-related skills and these improvements may be transferable to unrelated tasks. These facts make video games a potential medium for skill-training and rehabilitation. However, examinations of the neural correlates underlying these observations are almost non-existent in the visuomotor system. Further, the vast majority of studies on the effects of a history of AVG play have been done using almost exclusively male participants. Therefore, to begin to fill these gaps in the literature, we present findings from two experiments. In the first, we use functional MRI to examine brain activity in experienced, female AVG players during visually-guided reaching. In the second, we examine the kinematics of visually-guided reaching in this population. Imaging data demonstrate that relative to women who do not play, AVG players have less motor-related preparatory activity in the cuneus, middle occipital gyrus, and cerebellum. This decrease is correlated with estimates of time spent playing. Further, these correlations are strongest during the performance of a visuomotor mapping that spatially dissociates eye and arm movements. However, further examinations of the full time-course of visuomotor-related activity in the AVG players revealed that the decreased activity during motor preparation likely results from a later onset of activity in AVG players, which occurs closer to beginning motor execution relative to the non-playing group. Further, the data presented here suggest that this later onset of preparatory activity represents greater neural efficiency that is associated with faster visually-guided responses.
Gorbet, Diana J.; Sergio, Lauren E.
A history of action video game (AVG) playing is associated with improvements in several visuospatial and attention-related skills and these improvements may be transferable to unrelated tasks. These facts make video games a potential medium for skill-training and rehabilitation. However, examinations of the neural correlates underlying these observations are almost non-existent in the visuomotor system. Further, the vast majority of studies on the effects of a history of AVG play have been done using almost exclusively male participants. Therefore, to begin to fill these gaps in the literature, we present findings from two experiments. In the first, we use functional MRI to examine brain activity in experienced, female AVG players during visually-guided reaching. In the second, we examine the kinematics of visually-guided reaching in this population. Imaging data demonstrate that relative to women who do not play, AVG players have less motor-related preparatory activity in the cuneus, middle occipital gyrus, and cerebellum. This decrease is correlated with estimates of time spent playing. Further, these correlations are strongest during the performance of a visuomotor mapping that spatially dissociates eye and arm movements. However, further examinations of the full time-course of visuomotor-related activity in the AVG players revealed that the decreased activity during motor preparation likely results from a later onset of activity in AVG players, which occurs closer to beginning motor execution relative to the non-playing group. Further, the data presented here suggest that this later onset of preparatory activity represents greater neural efficiency that is associated with faster visually-guided responses. PMID:29364891
Saga, Yosuke; Nakayama, Yoshihisa; Inoue, Ken-Ichi; Yamagata, Tomoko; Hashimoto, Masashi; Tremblay, Léon; Takada, Masahiko; Hoshi, Eiji
The thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) collects inputs from the cerebral cortex and thalamus and, in turn, sends inhibitory outputs to the thalamic relay nuclei. This unique connectivity suggests that the TRN plays a pivotal role in regulating information flow through the thalamus. Here, we analyzed the roles of TRN neurons in visually guided reaching movements. We first used retrograde transneuronal labeling with rabies virus, and showed that the rostro-dorsal sector of the TRN (TRNrd) projected disynaptically to the ventral premotor cortex (PMv). In other experiments, we recorded neurons from the TRNrd or PMv while monkeys performed a visuomotor task. We found that neurons in the TRNrd and PMv showed visual-, set-, and movement-related activity modulation. These results indicate that the TRNrd, as well as the PMv, is involved in the reception of visual signals and in the preparation and execution of reaching movements. The fraction of neurons that were non-selective for the location of visual signals or the direction of reaching movements was greater in the TRNrd than in the PMv. Furthermore, the fraction of neurons whose activity increased from the baseline was greater in the TRNrd than in the PMv. The timing of activity modulation of visual-related and movement-related neurons was similar in TRNrd and PMv neurons. Overall, our data suggest that TRNrd neurons provide motor thalamic nuclei with inhibitory inputs that are predominantly devoid of spatial selectivity, and that these signals modulate how these nuclei engage in both sensory processing and motor output during visually guided reaching behavior. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Full Text Available Henry SR Kao,1 Stewart PW Lam,2 Tin Tin Kao3,4 1Calligraphy Therapy Laboratory, Shenzhen Institute of Neuroscience, Shenzhen, China; 2Research and Development Division, Calli-Health Society, 3Department of Geography, 4Department of Psychology, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Introduction: This study investigated the efficacy of Chinese calligraphy handwriting (CCH for the awakening of patients under a vegetative state after stroke. The theories, the instrument, and the treatment protocols were reported. A single case of a severe stroke patient who was in a coma state for 2 years is presented in this study. The objectives were to apply finger writing as a new method to awaken a stroke patient in a coma state and to test the effect of this method in improving the patient’s vegetative states over time. Case presentation: A 55-year-old man suffered a severe stroke in 2004 which left him in a coma for 2 years without any systematic rehabilitation. A culture-based finger-writing method of visual-spatial intervention was then applied to improve his condition. The writing tasks involved aided viewing and finger tracing of sets of innovative characters with enriched visual-spatial and movement characteristics. Following regular treatment protocols involving diverse movement and sensory feedback, the patient was awakened after 12 months. As a consequence, the patient showed significant behavioral changes favoring enhanced focusing, alertness, visual scan, visual span, and quickened visual and motor responses. The treatment continued for another 12 months. As the treatment progressed, we gradually observed improvements in his attention span and mental concentration. His eye ball movements – the left eye in particular – were quickened and showed wider visual angularity in his focal vision. Currently, the patient can now watch television, engage in improved visual sighting, and focus on visual-spatial and cognitive-linguistic materials. Conclusion
Yang, Xue-Ling; Li, Huan-Huan; Hong, Ming-Huang; Kao, Henry S R
Chinese calligraphy handwriting is the practice of traditional Chinese brush writing, researches found calligraphy had therapeutic effects on certain diseases, some authors argued that calligraphy might have relaxation effect. This study was to compare the effects of calligraphy handwriting with those of progressive muscle relaxation and imagery training in Chinese Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma patients. This study was a randomized controlled trial. Two hundred and eighty-seven Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma patients were approached, ninety (31%) patients were recruited and randomized to one of the three treatment groups: progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery training group, Calligraphy handwriting group, or a Control group. Seventy-nine (87.8%) completed all of the outcome measures. The primary treatment outcome was the changes of physiological arousal parameters measured by pre- and post-treatment differences of heart rate, blood pressure and respiration rate. The secondary outcomes included: modified Chinese version of Symptom Distress Scale, Profile of Mood State-Short Form, and Karnofsky Performance Status measured at baseline, during treatment (after the 2-week intervention), post-treatment (after the 4-week intervention) and after a 2-week follow-up. Effectiveness was tested by repeated measure ANOVA analyses. Cancer centre of a major university hospital in Guangdong, China. Results showed that both of calligraphy and relaxation training demonstrated slow-down effects on physiological arousal parameters. Moreover, calligraphy practice gradually lowered participants' systolic blood pressure (simple main effect of time at pre-treatment measure, p=.007) and respiration rate (p=.000) at pre- and post-treatment measures as the intervention proceeded, though with a smaller effect size as compared to relaxation. Both of calligraphy and relaxation training had certain symptom relief and mood improvement effects in NPC patients. Relaxation was effective in relieving
Mioulet, L.; Bideault, G.; Chatelain, C.; Paquet, T.; Brunessaux, S.
The BLSTM-CTC is a novel recurrent neural network architecture that has outperformed previous state of the art algorithms in tasks such as speech recognition or handwriting recognition. It has the ability to process long term dependencies in temporal signals in order to label unsegmented data. This paper describes different ways of combining features using a BLSTM-CTC architecture. Not only do we explore the low level combination (feature space combination) but we also explore high level combination (decoding combination) and mid-level (internal system representation combination). The results are compared on the RIMES word database. Our results show that the low level combination works best, thanks to the powerful data modeling of the LSTM neurons.
Othman Muhammad Fakri
Full Text Available We have proposed a method to assist children with coordination difficulties or dyspraxia to improve their handwriting skills. We have chosen an animation technique called ‘Rotoscopy’, a method that normally been used in animation and film production and adapted it to Rotoscopy Prehandwriting Interface (RPI prototypes using the interactive whiteboard (IWB as interaction device. The motivation of this research is to discover how efficient if Rotoscopy is used beyond its normal purposes? Does it give benefits in terms of behavioural and motivational aspect rather than commercial and profit point of view? Implementation of RPI prototypes has taken place through series of workshops with a teacher and a group of children with handwriting difficulties at a special education school in Caerphilly, Cardiff, United Kingdom. In the workshops children were given pre-handwriting activities in two different environments. They have been trained to use RPI prototypes and IWB as well as using pen and paper. Their activities and action has been observed and recorded using video camera. Evaluation method is based-on video analysis of children’s pre-handwriting result and their reaction and motivation during the workshop. It was learnt that majority of children who used RPI prototypes and IWB have produced better results in terms of accuracy of the drawing as compared to results of pen and paper activities. Furthermore the children are more motivated to use the prototypes and IWB rather than using pen and paper. The study’s contribution includes offering a new way to improve children’s prehandwriting skills using computer animation technique and touch-based devices.
Waterman, Amanda H; Havelka, Jelena; Culmer, Peter R; Hill, Liam J B; Mon-Williams, Mark
Humans have evolved a remarkable ability to remember visual shapes and use these representations to generate motor activity (from Palaeolithic cave drawings through Jiahu symbols to cursive handwriting). The term visual-motor memory (VMM) describes this psychological ability, which must have conveyed an evolutionary advantage and remains critically important to humans (e.g. when learning to write). Surprisingly, little empirical investigation of this unique human ability exists--almost certainly because of the technological difficulties involved in measuring VMM. We deployed a novel technique for measuring this construct in 87 children (6-11 years old, 44 females). Children drew novel shapes presented briefly on a tablet laptop screen, drawing their responses from memory on the screen using a digitizer stylus. Sophisticated algorithms (using point-registration techniques) objectively quantified the accuracy of the children's reproductions. VMM improved with age and performance decreased with shape complexity, indicating that the measure captured meaningful developmental changes. The relationship between VMM and scores on nationally standardized writing assessments were explored with the results showing a clear relationship between these measures, even after controlling for age. Moreover, a relationship between VMM and the nationally standardized reading test was mediated via writing ability, suggesting VMM's wider importance within language development. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
Garre-Olmo, Josep; Faúndez-Zanuy, Marcos; López-de-Ipiña, Karmele; Calvó-Perxas, Laia; Turró-Garriga, Oriol
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative dementia of old age, and the leading chronic disease contributor to disability and dependence among older people worldwide. Clinically, AD is characterized by a progressive cognitive decline that interferes with the ability to perform the activities of daily living. Handwriting and drawing are complex human activities that entail an intricate blend of cognitive, kinesthetic, and perceptual-motor features. To compare the kinematic characteristics of handwriting and drawing between patients with AD, patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and healthy controls. We used a cross-sectional and observational design to assess the kinematic and pressure features of handwriting and drawing using a computerized system. Participants were asked to copy one sentence, write a dictated sentence and an own sentence, copy two and-three dimensions drawings, and to execute the clock drawing test. By means of discriminant analyses, we explored the value of several kinematic features in order to classify participants depending on their degree of cognitive functioning. The sample consisted of 52 participants (23 AD, 12 MCI, and 17 healthy controls) with a mean age of 69.7 years (SD=8.11). The degree of correct classification was largely dependent on the nature of the groups to be classified and the specific task, and ranged between 63.5% and 100%. Diagnostic accuracy based on kinematic measures showed higher specificity values for distinguishing between normal and impaired cognition (MCI and AD), and higher sensitivity was obtained when distinguishing between impaired cognition levels (MCI vs. AD). The kinematic features of writing and drawing procedures, rather than the final product, may be a useful and objective complement to the clinical assessment of patients with cognitive impairment. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at email@example.com.
Neely, Kristina A; Heath, Matthew
In the visuomotor mental rotation (VMR) paradigm, participants execute a center-out reaching movement to a location that deviates from a visual cue by a predetermined instruction angle. Previous work has demonstrated a linear increase in reaction time (RT) as a function of the amplitude of the instruction angle (Georgopoulos and Massey in Exp Brain Res 65:361-370, 1987). In contrast, we recently reported a RT advantage for an instruction angle of 180 degrees relative to a 90 degrees angle (Neely and Heath in Neurosci Lett 463:194-198, 2009). It is possible, however, that perceptual expertise with the cardinal axes, which are perceptually familiar reference frames, influenced the results of our previous investigation. To address this issue, we employed a VMR paradigm identical to that of our previous work, with the exception that the stimulus array was shifted 45 degrees from the horizontal and vertical meridians. Our results demonstrated that RTs were fastest and least variable when the instruction angle was 0 degrees, followed by 180 degrees, which in turn, was faster than 90 degrees. Such findings establish that the RT advantage for the 180 degrees instruction angle is not influenced by perceptual expertise with the cardinal axes. Moreover, the present results provide convergent evidence that RT is not determined by the angle of rotation; instead, they indicate that response latencies reflect computational differences in the complexity of response remapping.
Tanaka, Kanji; Watanabe, Katsumi
The present study examined whether sequence learning led to more accurate and shorter performance time if people who are learning a sequence start over from the beginning when they make an error (i.e., practice the whole sequence) or only from the point of error (i.e., practice a part of the sequence). We used a visuomotor sequence learning paradigm with a trial-and-error procedure. In Experiment 1, we found fewer errors, and shorter performance time for those who restarted their performance from the beginning of the sequence as compared to those who restarted from the point at which an error occurred, indicating better learning of spatial and motor representations of the sequence. This might be because the learned elements were repeated when the next performance started over from the beginning. In subsequent experiments, we increased the occasions for the repetitions of learned elements by modulating the number of fresh start points in the sequence after errors. The results showed that fewer fresh start points were likely to lead to fewer errors and shorter performance time, indicating that the repetitions of learned elements enabled participants to develop stronger spatial and motor representations of the sequence. Thus, a single or two fresh start points in the sequence (i.e., starting over only from the beginning or from the beginning or midpoint of the sequence after errors) is likely to lead to more accurate and faster performance. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
He, Jiang-Hong; Yang, Yi; Zhang, Yi; Qiu, Si-You; Zhou, Zhen-Yu; Dang, Yuan-Yuan; Dai, Yi-Wu; Liu, Yi-Jun; Xu, Ru-Xiang
Resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) has emerged as a valuable tool to characterize the complex states encompassing disorders of consciousness (DOC). Awareness appears to comprise two coexistent, anticorrelated components named the external and internal awareness networks. The present study hypothesizes that DOC interrupts the balance between the internal and external awareness networks. To gain more understanding of this phenomenon, the present study analyzed resting-state fMRI data from 12 patients with DOC versus 12 healthy age-matched controls. The data were explored using independent component analysis and amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) analysis. The results indicated that DOC deactivated midline areas associated with internal awareness. In addition, external awareness was strengthened in DOC because of increased activation in the insula, lingual gyrus, paracentral and supplementary motor area. The activity patterns suggested strengthened external awareness against weakened internal awareness in DOC. In particular, increased activity found in the insula, lingual gyrus, paracentral and supplementary motor area of patients with DOC implied possible involvement of augmented visuo-motor modulation in these patients. DOC is probably related to hyperactive external awareness opposing hypoactive internal awareness. This unique pattern of brain activity may potentially be a prognostic marker for DOC. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Almeida, Jorge; Amaral, Lénia; Garcea, Frank E; Aguiar de Sousa, Diana; Xu, Shan; Mahon, Bradford Z; Martins, Isabel Pavão
A major principle of organization of the visual system is between a dorsal stream that processes visuomotor information and a ventral stream that supports object recognition. Most research has focused on dissociating processing across these two streams. Here we focus on how the two streams interact. We tested neurologically-intact and impaired participants in an object categorization task over two classes of objects that depend on processing within both streams-hands and tools. We measured how unconscious processing of images from one of these categories (e.g., tools) affects the recognition of images from the other category (i.e., hands). Our findings with neurologically-intact participants demonstrated that processing an image of a hand hampers the subsequent processing of an image of a tool, and vice versa. These results were not present in apraxic patients (N = 3). These findings suggest local and global inhibitory processes working in tandem to co-register information across the two streams.
Palsbo, Susan E; Hood-Szivek, Pamela
We explored the efficacy of robotic technology in improving handwriting in children with impaired motor skills. Eighteen participants had impairments arising from cerebral palsy (CP), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or other disorders. The intervention was robotic-guided three-dimensional repetitive motion in 15-20 daily sessions of 25-30 min each over 4-8 wk. Fine motor control improved for the children with learning disabilities and those ages 9 or older but not for those with CP or under age 9. All children with ASD or ADHD referred for slow writing speed were able to increase speed while maintaining legibility. Three-dimensional, robot-assisted, repetitive motion training improved handwriting fluidity in children with mild to moderate fine motor deficits associated with ASD or ADHD within 10 hr of training. This dosage may not be sufficient for children with CP. Copyright © 2012 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
Bingham, Geoffrey P; Snapp-Childs, Winona
A large proportion of school-aged children exhibit poor drawing and handwriting. This prevalence limits the availability of therapy. We developed an automated method for training improved manual compliance control and relatedly, prospective control of a stylus. The approach included a difficult training task, while providing parametrically modifiable support that enables the children to perform successfully while developing good compliance control. The task was to use a stylus to push a bead along a 3D wire path. Support was provided by making the wire magnetically attractive to the stylus. Support was progressively reduced as 3D tracing performance improved. We report studies that (1) compared performance of Typically Developing (TD) children and children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), (2) tested training with active versus passive movement, (3) tested progressively reduced versus constant or no support during training, (4) tested children of different ages, (5) tested the transfer of training to a drawing task, (6) tested the specificity of training in respect to the size, shape and dimensionality of figures, and (7) investigated the relevance of the training task to the Beery VMI, an inventory used to diagnose DCD. The findings were as follows. (1) Pre-training performance of TD and DCD children was the same and good with high support but distinct and poor with low support. Support yielded good self-efficacy that motivated training. Post training performance with no support was improved and the same for TD and DCD children. (2) Actively controlled movements were required for improved performance. (3) Progressively reduced support was required for good performance during and after training. (4) Age differences in performance during pre-training were eliminated post-training. (5) Improvements transferred to drawing. (6) There was no evidence of specificity of training in transfer. (7) Disparate Beery scores were reflected in pre-training but not
Arrighi, Pieranna; Bonfiglio, Luca; Minichilli, Fabrizio; Cantore, Nicoletta; Carboncini, Maria Chiara; Piccotti, Emily; Rossi, Bruno; Andre, Paolo
Modulation of frontal midline theta (fmθ) is observed during error commission, but little is known about the role of theta oscillations in correcting motor behaviours. We investigate EEG activity of healthy partipants executing a reaching task under variable degrees of prism-induced visuo-motor distortion and visual occlusion of the initial arm trajectory. This task introduces directional errors of different magnitudes. The discrepancy between predicted and actual movement directions (i.e. the error), at the time when visual feedback (hand appearance) became available, elicits a signal that triggers on-line movement correction. Analysis were performed on 25 EEG channels. For each participant, the median value of the angular error of all reaching trials was used to partition the EEG epochs into high- and low-error conditions. We computed event-related spectral perturbations (ERSP) time-locked either to visual feedback or to the onset of movement correction. ERSP time-locked to the onset of visual feedback showed that fmθ increased in the high- but not in the low-error condition with an approximate time lag of 200 ms. Moreover, when single epochs were sorted by the degree of motor error, fmθ started to increase when a certain level of error was exceeded and, then, scaled with error magnitude. When ERSP were time-locked to the onset of movement correction, the fmθ increase anticipated this event with an approximate time lead of 50 ms. During successive trials, an error reduction was observed which was associated with indices of adaptations (i.e., aftereffects) suggesting the need to explore if theta oscillations may facilitate learning. To our knowledge this is the first study where the EEG signal recorded during reaching movements was time-locked to the onset of the error visual feedback. This allowed us to conclude that theta oscillations putatively generated by anterior cingulate cortex activation are implicated in error processing in semi-naturalistic motor
Basso Moro, Sara; Carrieri, Marika; Avola, Danilo; Brigadoi, Sabrina; Lancia, Stefania; Petracca, Andrea; Spezialetti, Matteo; Ferrari, Marco; Placidi, Giuseppe; Quaresima, Valentina
Objective. In the last few years, the interest in applying virtual reality systems for neurorehabilitation is increasing. Their compatibility with neuroimaging techniques, such as functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), allows for the investigation of brain reorganization with multimodal stimulation and real-time control of the changes occurring in brain activity. The present study was aimed at testing a novel semi-immersive visuo-motor task (VMT), which has the features of being adopted in the field of neurorehabilitation of the upper limb motor function. Approach. A virtual environment was simulated through a three-dimensional hand-sensing device (the LEAP Motion Controller), and the concomitant VMT-related prefrontal cortex (PFC) response was monitored non-invasively by fNIRS. Upon the VMT, performed at three different levels of difficulty, it was hypothesized that the PFC would be activated with an expected greater level of activation in the ventrolateral PFC (VLPFC), given its involvement in the motor action planning and in the allocation of the attentional resources to generate goals from current contexts. Twenty-one subjects were asked to move their right hand/forearm with the purpose of guiding a virtual sphere over a virtual path. A twenty-channel fNIRS system was employed for measuring changes in PFC oxygenated-deoxygenated hemoglobin (O2Hb/HHb, respectively). Main results. A VLPFC O2Hb increase and a concomitant HHb decrease were observed during the VMT performance, without any difference in relation to the task difficulty. Significance. The present study has revealed a particular involvement of the VLPFC in the execution of the novel proposed semi-immersive VMT adoptable in the neurorehabilitation field.
Dideriksen, Jakob Lund; Feeney, Daniel F; Almuklass, Awad M; Enoka, Roger M
Force trajectories during isometric force-matching tasks involving isometric contractions vary substantially across individuals. In this study, we investigated if this variability can be explained by discrete time proportional, integral, derivative (PID) control algorithms with varying model parameters. To this end, we analyzed the pinch force trajectories of 24 subjects performing two rapid force-matching tasks with visual feedback. Both tasks involved isometric contractions to a target force of 10% maximal voluntary contraction. One task involved a single action (pinch) and the other required a double action (concurrent pinch and wrist extension). 50,000 force trajectories were simulated with a computational neuromuscular model whose input was determined by a PID controller with different PID gains and frequencies at which the controller adjusted muscle commands. The goal was to find the best match between each experimental force trajectory and all simulated trajectories. It was possible to identify one realization of the PID controller that matched the experimental force produced during each task for most subjects (average index of similarity: 0.87 ± 0.12; 1 = perfect similarity). The similarities for both tasks were significantly greater than that would be expected by chance (single action: p = 0.01; double action: p = 0.04). Furthermore, the identified control frequencies in the simulated PID controller with the greatest similarities decreased as task difficulty increased (single action: 4.0 ± 1.8 Hz; double action: 3.1 ± 1.3 Hz). Overall, the results indicate that discrete time PID controllers are realistic models for the neural control of force in rapid force-matching tasks involving isometric contractions.
Full Text Available Modulation of frontal midline theta (fmθ is observed during error commission, but little is known about the role of theta oscillations in correcting motor behaviours. We investigate EEG activity of healthy partipants executing a reaching task under variable degrees of prism-induced visuo-motor distortion and visual occlusion of the initial arm trajectory. This task introduces directional errors of different magnitudes. The discrepancy between predicted and actual movement directions (i.e. the error, at the time when visual feedback (hand appearance became available, elicits a signal that triggers on-line movement correction. Analysis were performed on 25 EEG channels. For each participant, the median value of the angular error of all reaching trials was used to partition the EEG epochs into high- and low-error conditions. We computed event-related spectral perturbations (ERSP time-locked either to visual feedback or to the onset of movement correction. ERSP time-locked to the onset of visual feedback showed that fmθ increased in the high- but not in the low-error condition with an approximate time lag of 200 ms. Moreover, when single epochs were sorted by the degree of motor error, fmθ started to increase when a certain level of error was exceeded and, then, scaled with error magnitude. When ERSP were time-locked to the onset of movement correction, the fmθ increase anticipated this event with an approximate time lead of 50 ms. During successive trials, an error reduction was observed which was associated with indices of adaptations (i.e., aftereffects suggesting the need to explore if theta oscillations may facilitate learning. To our knowledge this is the first study where the EEG signal recorded during reaching movements was time-locked to the onset of the error visual feedback. This allowed us to conclude that theta oscillations putatively generated by anterior cingulate cortex activation are implicated in error processing in semi
A Comparative Study of Handwriting and Computer Typing in Note-taking by University Students = Análisis comparativo entre escritura manual y electrónica en la toma de apuntes de estudiantes universitarios
Aragón-Mendizábal, Estíbaliz; Delgado-Casas, Cándida; Navarro-Guzmán, José-I.; Menacho-Jiménez, Inmaculada; Romero-Oliva, Manuel-F.
Taking notes is a common strategy among higher education students, and has been found to affect their academic performance. Nowadays, however, the use of computers is replacing the traditional pencil-and-paper methodology. The present study aims to identify the advantages and disadvantages associated with the use of computer (typing) and pencil-and-paper (handwriting) for taking notes by college students. A total of 251 social and health science students participated in the study. Two experim...
Full Text Available Despite recent advances in clarifying the neural networks underlying rehabilitation in Parkinson's disease (PD, the impact of prolonged motor learning interventions on brain connectivity in people with PD is currently unknown. Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare cortical network changes after 6 weeks of visually cued handwriting training (= experimental with a placebo intervention to address micrographia, a common problem in PD. Twenty seven early Parkinson's patients on dopaminergic medication performed a pre-writing task in both the presence and absence of visual cues during behavioral tests and during fMRI. Subsequently, patients were randomized to the experimental (N = 13 or placebo intervention (N = 14 both lasting 6 weeks, after which they underwent the same testing procedure. We used dynamic causal modeling to compare the neural network dynamics in both groups before and after training. Most importantly, intensive writing training propagated connectivity via the left hemispheric visuomotor stream to an increased coupling with the supplementary motor area, not witnessed in the placebo group. Training enhanced communication in the left visuomotor integration system in line with the learned visually steered training. Notably, this pattern was apparent irrespective of the presence of cues, suggesting transfer from cued to uncued handwriting. We conclude that in early PD intensive motor skill learning, which led to clinical improvement, alters cortical network functioning. We showed for the first time in a placebo-controlled design that it remains possible to enhance the drive to the supplementary motor area through motor learning.
Lawrence, Jane M; Abhari, Kamyar; Prime, Steven L; Meek, Benjamin P; Desanghere, Loni; Baugh, Lee A; Marotta, Jonathan J
The development of noninvasive neuroimaging techniques, such as fMRI, has rapidly advanced our understanding of the neural systems underlying the integration of visual and motor information. However, the fMRI experimental design is restricted by several environmental elements, such as the presence of the magnetic field and the restricted view of the participant, making it difficult to monitor and measure behaviour. The present article describes a novel, specialized software package developed in our laboratory called Biometric Integration Recording and Analysis (BIRA). BIRA integrates video with kinematic data derived from the hand and eye, acquired using MRI-compatible equipment. The present article demonstrates the acquisition and analysis of eye and hand data using BIRA in a mock (0 Tesla) scanner. A method for collecting and integrating gaze and kinematic data in fMRI studies on visuomotor behaviour has several advantages: Specifically, it will allow for more sophisticated, behaviourally driven analyses and eliminate potential confounds of gaze or kinematic data.
Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide and calcium binding proteins immunoreactivity in the deep layers of the superior colliculus of the guinea pig: Implications for multisensory and visuomotor processing.
The superior colliculus (SC) of mammals is a midbrain center, that can be subdivided into the superficial (SCs) and deep layers (SCd). In contrast to the visual SCs, the SCd are involved in multisensory and motor processing. This study investigated the pattern of distribution and colocalization of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide (CART) and three calcium-binding proteins (CaBPs) i.e. calbindin (CB), calretinin (CR) and parvalbumin (PV) in the SCd of the guinea pig. CART labeling was seen almost exclusively in the neuropil and fibers, which differed in regard to morphology and location. CART-positive neurons were very rare and restricted to a narrow area of the SCd. The most intense CART immunoreactivity was observed in the most dorsally located sublayer of the SCd, which is anatomically and functionally connected with the SCs. CART immunoreactivity in the remaining SCd was less intensive, but still relatively high. This characteristic pattern of immunoreactivity indicates that CART as a putative neurotransmitter or neuromodulator may play an important role in processing of visual information, while its involvement in the auditory and visuomotor processing is less significant, but still possible. CaBPs-positive neurons were morphologically diverse and widely distributed throughout all SCd. From studied CaBPs, CR showed a markedly different distribution compared to CB and PV. Overall, the patterns of distribution of CB and PV were similar in the entire SCd. Consequently, the complementarity of these patterns in the guinea pig was very weak. Double immunostaining revealed that CART did not colocalize with either CaBPs, which suggested that these neurochemical substances might not coexist in the multisensory and visuomotor parts of the SC. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Chen, Xuqian; Liao, Yuanlan; Chen, Xianzhe
Using a non-alphabetic language (e.g., Chinese), the present study tested a novel view that semantic information at the sublexical level should be activated during handwriting production. Over 80% of Chinese characters are phonograms, in which semantic radicals represent category information (e.g., 'chair,' 'peach,' 'orange' are related to plants) while phonetic radicals represent phonetic information (e.g., 'wolf,' 'brightness,' 'male,' are all pronounced /lang/). Under different semantic category conditions at the lexical level (semantically related in Experiment 1; semantically unrelated in Experiment 2), the orthographic relatedness and semantic relatedness of semantic radicals in the picture name and its distractor were manipulated under different SOAs (i.e., stimulus onset asynchrony, the interval between the onset of the picture and the onset of the interference word). Two questions were addressed: (1) Is it possible that semantic information could be activated in the sublexical level conditions? (2) How are semantic and orthographic information dynamically accessed in word production? Results showed that both orthographic and semantic information were activated under the present picture-word interference paradigm, dynamically under different SOAs, which supported our view that discussions on semantic processes in the writing modality should be extended to the sublexical level. The current findings provide possibility for building new orthography-phonology-semantics models in writing. © 2017 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Full Text Available Marketing theorists and experts try to develop business efficient organization and to get marketing performance at higher, business integrated level since its earliest beginnings. The core issue in this paperwork is the dialectic and practical approach dilemma should we develop integrated or integral marketing approach in the organization. The presented company cases as well as dialectic and functional explanations of this dilemma clearly shows that integrated marketing is narrower approach than integral marketing if we take as focal point new, unique and completed entity. In the integration the essence is in getting different parts together, which do not have to make necessary the new entity. The key elements in the definition of the integral marketing are necessity and holistic, e.g. necessity to develop new, holistic entity.
Marino, Robert A; Levy, Ron; Munoz, Douglas P
Express saccades represent the fastest possible eye movements to visual targets with reaction times that approach minimum sensory-motor conduction delays. Previous work in monkeys has identified two specific neural signals in the superior colliculus (SC: a midbrain sensorimotor integration structure involved in gaze control) that are required to execute express saccades: 1) previsual activity consisting of a low-frequency increase in action potentials in sensory-motor neurons immediately before the arrival of a visual response; and 2) a transient visual-sensory response consisting of a high-frequency burst of action potentials in visually responsive neurons resulting from the appearance of a visual target stimulus. To better understand how these two neural signals interact to produce express saccades, we manipulated the arrival time and magnitude of visual responses in the SC by altering target luminance and we examined the corresponding influences on SC activity and express saccade generation. We recorded from saccade neurons with visual-, motor-, and previsual-related activity in the SC of monkeys performing the gap saccade task while target luminance was systematically varied between 0.001 and 42.5 cd/m(2) against a black background (∼0.0001 cd/m(2)). Our results demonstrated that 1) express saccade latencies were linked directly to the arrival time in the SC of visual responses produced by abruptly appearing visual stimuli; 2) express saccades were generated toward both dim and bright targets whenever sufficient previsual activity was present; and 3) target luminance altered the likelihood of producing an express saccade. When an express saccade was generated, visuomotor neurons increased their activity immediately before the arrival of the visual response in the SC and saccade initiation. Furthermore, the visual and motor responses of visuomotor neurons merged into a single burst of action potentials, while the visual response of visual-only neurons was
Levy, Ron; Munoz, Douglas P.
Express saccades represent the fastest possible eye movements to visual targets with reaction times that approach minimum sensory-motor conduction delays. Previous work in monkeys has identified two specific neural signals in the superior colliculus (SC: a midbrain sensorimotor integration structure involved in gaze control) that are required to execute express saccades: 1) previsual activity consisting of a low-frequency increase in action potentials in sensory-motor neurons immediately before the arrival of a visual response; and 2) a transient visual-sensory response consisting of a high-frequency burst of action potentials in visually responsive neurons resulting from the appearance of a visual target stimulus. To better understand how these two neural signals interact to produce express saccades, we manipulated the arrival time and magnitude of visual responses in the SC by altering target luminance and we examined the corresponding influences on SC activity and express saccade generation. We recorded from saccade neurons with visual-, motor-, and previsual-related activity in the SC of monkeys performing the gap saccade task while target luminance was systematically varied between 0.001 and 42.5 cd/m2 against a black background (∼0.0001 cd/m2). Our results demonstrated that 1) express saccade latencies were linked directly to the arrival time in the SC of visual responses produced by abruptly appearing visual stimuli; 2) express saccades were generated toward both dim and bright targets whenever sufficient previsual activity was present; and 3) target luminance altered the likelihood of producing an express saccade. When an express saccade was generated, visuomotor neurons increased their activity immediately before the arrival of the visual response in the SC and saccade initiation. Furthermore, the visual and motor responses of visuomotor neurons merged into a single burst of action potentials, while the visual response of visual-only neurons was
McLaren, D I; Quispel, G R W
Ordinary differential equations having a first integral may be solved numerically using one of several methods, with the integral preserved to machine accuracy. One such method is the discrete gradient method. It is shown here that the order of the method can be bootstrapped repeatedly to higher orders of accuracy. The method is illustrated using the Henon-Heiles system. (letter to the editor)
This article offers ideas for evaluating integrated solid waste management systems through the use of a conceptual cost overview. The topics of the article include the integrated solid waste management system; making assumptions about community characteristics, waste generation rates, waste collection responsibility, integrated system components, sizing and economic life of system facilities, system implementation schedule, facility ownership, and system administration; integrated system costs; integrated system revenues; system financing; cost projections; and making decisions
Hove, Michael J.; Spivey, Michael J.; Krumhansl, Carol L.
Prior research indicates that synchronized tapping performance is very poor with flashing visual stimuli compared with auditory stimuli. Three finger-tapping experiments compared flashing visual metronomes with visual metronomes containing a spatial component, either compatible, incompatible, or orthogonal to the tapping action. In Experiment 1,…
Full Text Available Some authors have formalized the integral in the Mizar Mathematical Library (MML. The first article in a series on the Darboux/Riemann integral was written by Noboru Endou and Artur Korniłowicz: . The Lebesgue integral was formalized a little later  and recently the integral of Riemann-Stieltjes was introduced in the MML by Keiko Narita, Kazuhisa Nakasho and Yasunari Shidama .
Thomas, E. G. F.
This paper deals with the theory of integration of scalar functions with respect to a measure with values in a, not necessarily locally convex, topological vector space. It focuses on the extension of such integrals from bounded measurable functions to the class of integrable functions, proving
Nackaerts, Evelien; Nieuwboer, Alice; Broeder, Sanne; Swinnen, Stephan; Vandenberghe, Wim; Heremans, Elke
Recently, it was shown that patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and freezing of gait (FOG) can also experience freezing episodes during handwriting and present writing problems outside these episodes. So far, the neural networks underlying increased handwriting problems in subjects with FOG are unclear. This study used dynamic causal modeling of fMRI data to investigate neural network dynamics underlying freezing-related handwriting problems and how these networks changed in response to visual cues. Twenty-seven non-freezers and ten freezers performed a pre-writing task with and without visual cues in the scanner with their right hand. The results showed that freezers and non-freezers were able to recruit networks involved in cued and uncued writing in a similar fashion. Whole group analysis also revealed a trend towards altered visuomotor integration in patients with FOG. Next, we controlled for differences in disease severity between both patient groups using a sensitivity analysis. For this, a subgroup of ten non-freezers matched for disease severity was selected by an independent researcher. This analysis further exposed significantly weaker coupling in mostly left hemispheric visuo-parietal, parietal - supplementary motor area, parietal - premotor, and premotor-M1 pathways in freezers compared to non-freezers, irrespective of cues. Correlation analyses revealed that these impairments in connectivity were related to writing amplitude and quality. Taken together, these findings show that freezers have reduced involvement of the supplementary motor area in the motor network, which explains the impaired writing amplitude regulation in this group. In addition, weaker supportive premotor connectivity may have contributed to micrographia in freezers, a pattern that was independent of cueing.
Lyngsø, Anne Marie; Godtfredsen, Nina Skavlan; Frølich, Anne
INTRODUCTION: Despite many initiatives to improve coordination of patient pathways and intersectoral cooperation, Danish health care is still fragmented, lacking intra- and interorganisational integration. This study explores barriers to and facilitators of interorganisational integration...... at a university hospital in the Capital Region of Denmark. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Our results can be grouped into five influencing areas for interorganisational integration: communication/information transfer, committed leadership, patient engagement, the role and competencies of the general practitioner...... and organisational culture. Proposed solutions to barriers in each area hold the potential to improve care integration as experienced by individuals responsible for supporting and facilitating it. Barriers and facilitators to integrating care relate to clinical, professional, functional and normative integration...
This paper focuses on the trend in international energy companies towards vertical integration in the gas chain from wellhead to power generation, horizontal integration in refining and marketing businesses, and the search for larger projects with lower upstream costs. The shape of the petroleum industry in the next millennium, the creation of super-major oil companies, and the relationship between size and risk are discussed. The dynamics of vertical integration, present events and future developments are considered. (UK)
Moiseiwitsch, B L
Two distinct but related approaches hold the solutions to many mathematical problems--the forms of expression known as differential and integral equations. The method employed by the integral equation approach specifically includes the boundary conditions, which confers a valuable advantage. In addition, the integral equation approach leads naturally to the solution of the problem--under suitable conditions--in the form of an infinite series.Geared toward upper-level undergraduate students, this text focuses chiefly upon linear integral equations. It begins with a straightforward account, acco
Lenau, Torben Anker
A homepage on the internet with course material, lecture plan, student exercises, etc. Continuesly updated during the course Integrated Design (80402, 80403)......A homepage on the internet with course material, lecture plan, student exercises, etc. Continuesly updated during the course Integrated Design (80402, 80403)...
Background: In Sweden, as in many other countries, there has been a succession of trends in the organisation of health care and other welfare services. These trends have had different implications for the integration of services in the health and welfare system. Aims: One aim is to discuss...... the implications of different organisational trends for the integration of health and welfare services. Another aim is to introduce a Swedish model of financial coordination as a flexible way to organise integration. Organisational trends: In the 1960’s there was an expansion of health and welfare services leading...... an increasing lack of integration in the health and welfare system. In the 2000’s, there has been a re-centralisation through mergers of hospitals, regions and state agencies. It has become clear, however, that mergers do not promote integration but rather increase the bureaucratisation of the system. Model...
from the Table of Contents: Migration and integration - Basic concepts and definitions; Immigration and Integration policies; The legal framework for integration; Dimension of social integration; Cultural integration; Conclusions;
The main purposes of the article are to present the history of integration in psychotherapy, the reasons of the development integrative approaches, and the approaches to integration in psychotherapy. Three approaches to integration in psychotherapy exist: theoretical integration, theoretical eclecticism, and common factors in different psychotherapeutic trends. In integrative psychotherapy, the basic epistemology, theory, and clinical practice are based on the phenomenology, field theory, holism, dialogue, and co-creation of dialogue in the therapeutic relationship. The main criticism is that integrative psychotherapy suffers from confusion and many unresolved controversies. It is difficult to theoretically and methodologically define the clinically applied model that is based on such a different epistemological and theoretical presumptions. Integrative psychotherapy is a synthesis of humanistic psychotherapy, object relations theory, and psychoanalytical self psychology. It focuses on the dynamics and potentials of human relationships, with a goal of changing the relations and understanding internal and external resistances. The process of integrative psychotherapy is primarily focused on the developmental-relational model and co-creation of psychotherapeutic relationship as a single interactive event, which is not unilateral, but rather a joint endeavor by both the therapist and the patient/client. The need for a relationship is an important human need and represents a process of attunement that occurs as a response to the need for a relationship, a unique interpersonal contact between two people. If this need is not met, it manifests with the different feelings and various defenses. To meet this need, we need to have another person with whom we can establish a sensitive, attuned relationship. Thus, the therapist becomes this person who tries to supplement what the person did not receive. Neuroscience can be a source of integration through different therapies. We
We solve Chandrasekhar's integration equation for radiative transfer in the plane-parallel atmosphere by iterative integration. The primary thrust in radiative transfer has been to solve the forward problem, i.e., to evaluate the radiance, given the optical thickness and the scattering phase function. In the area of satellite remote sensing, our problem is the inverse problem: to retrieve the surface reflectance and the optical thickness of the atmosphere from the radiance measured by satellites. In order to retrieve the optical thickness and the surface reflectance from the radiance at the top-of-the atmosphere (TOA), we should express the radiance at TOA 'explicitly' in the optical thickness and the surface reflectance. Chandrasekhar formalized radiative transfer in the plane-parallel atmosphere in a simultaneous integral equation, and he obtained the second approximation. Since then no higher approximation has been reported. In this paper, we obtain the third approximation of the scattering function. We integrate functions derived from the second approximation in the integral interval from 1 to ∞ of the inverse of the cos of zenith angles. We can obtain the indefinite integral rather easily in the form of a series expansion. However, the integrals at the upper limit, ∞, are not yet known to us. We can assess the converged values of those series expansions at ∞ through calculus. For integration, we choose coupling pairs to avoid unnecessary terms in the outcome of integral and discover that the simultaneous integral equation can be deduced to the mere integral equation. Through algebraic calculation, we obtain the third approximation as a polynomial of the third degree in the atmospheric optical thickness
Chafcouloff, S.; Michel, G.; Trice, M.; Clark, G.; Cosad, C.; Forbes, K.
Integrated services is the name given to several services grouped together under a single contract. Four key factors determine the success of integrated services projects: teamwork, common objectives, technology, and shared benefits. For oil companies, integration means smoother, more efficient operations by bringing service companies on board as part of the team. For the service industry, it means a radical change in the way business is conducted, taking on more responsibility in return for greater incentives. This article reviews the need for change and the approach Schlumberger has adopted to meet this challenge. 20 figs., 20 refs
Chafcouloff, S.; Michel, G.; Trice, M. [Schlumberger Integrated Project Management Group, Montrouge (France); Clark, G. [Schlumberger Testing Services, Aberdeen (United Kingdom); Cosad, C.; Forbes, K. [Schlumberger Integrated Project Management Group, Aberdeen (United Kingdom)
Integrated services is the name given to several services grouped together under a single contract. Four key factors determine the success of integrated services projects: teamwork, common objectives, technology, and shared benefits. For oil companies, integration means smoother, more efficient operations by bringing service companies on board as part of the team. For the service industry, it means a radical change in the way business is conducted, taking on more responsibility in return for greater incentives. This article reviews the need for change and the approach Schlumberger has adopted to meet this challenge. 20 figs., 20 refs
Full Text Available Accepting and valuing people with disabilities is a key aspect of social policies promoted worldwide. The implementation of these policies aim normalize the lives of people with disabilities through full integration in the society to which they belong. Removing discrimination and social barriers equates to a maturing of the society, maturing translated by accepting diversity that surrounds us. Each person must be appreciated at its true value regardless of its condition of normality or deviation from it. Valuing individuals can be achieved only through a full acceptance in society, by assigning statuses and fulfilling social roles. School integration of children with special educational needs in mainstream education is a challenge and involves many aspects to be successful. It is the premise of social integration, the basis for future socio-professional insertion. Integrated education is the first step towards a world of equal opportunities, a world without discrimination.
Knudsen, Lars Ramkilde; Wagner, David
This paper considers a cryptanalytic approach called integral cryptanalysis. It can be seen as a dual to differential cryptanalysis and applies to ciphers not vulnerable to differential attacks. The method is particularly applicable to block ciphers which use bijective components only.......This paper considers a cryptanalytic approach called integral cryptanalysis. It can be seen as a dual to differential cryptanalysis and applies to ciphers not vulnerable to differential attacks. The method is particularly applicable to block ciphers which use bijective components only....
Siemieniuch, C E; Sinclair, M A
The paper presents a view of systems integration, from an ergonomics/human factors perspective, emphasising the process of systems integration as is carried out by humans. The first section discusses some of the fundamental issues in systems integration, such as the significance of systems boundaries, systems lifecycle and systems entropy, issues arising from complexity, the implications of systems immortality, and so on. The next section outlines various generic processes for executing systems integration, to act as guides for practitioners. These address both the design of the system to be integrated and the preparation of the wider system in which the integration will occur. Then the next section outlines some of the human-specific issues that would need to be addressed in such processes; for example, indeterminacy and incompleteness, the prediction of human reliability, workload issues, extended situation awareness, and knowledge lifecycle management. For all of these, suggestions and further readings are proposed. Finally, the conclusions section reiterates in condensed form the major issues arising from the above.
Cartier, Pierre; DeWitt-Morette, Cecile
Acknowledgements; List symbols, conventions, and formulary; Part I. The Physical and Mathematical Environment: 1. The physical and mathematical environment; Part II. Quantum Mechanics: 2. First lesson: gaussian integrals; 3. Selected examples; 4. Semiclassical expansion: WKB; 5. Semiclassical expansion: beyond WKB; 6. Quantum dynamics: path integrals and operator formalism; Part III. Methods from Differential Geometry: 7. Symmetries; 8. Homotopy; 9. Grassmann analysis: basics; 10. Grassmann analysis: applications; 11. Volume elements, divergences, gradients; Part IV. Non-Gaussian Applications: 12. Poisson processes in physics; 13. A mathematical theory of Poisson processes; 14. First exit time: energy problems; Part V. Problems in Quantum Field Theory: 15. Renormalization 1: an introduction; 16. Renormalization 2: scaling; 17. Renormalization 3: combinatorics; 18. Volume elements in quantum field theory Bryce DeWitt; Part VI. Projects: 19. Projects; Appendix A. Forward and backward integrals: spaces of pointed paths; Appendix B. Product integrals; Appendix C. A compendium of gaussian integrals; Appendix D. Wick calculus Alexander Wurm; Appendix E. The Jacobi operator; Appendix F. Change of variables of integration; Appendix G. Analytic properties of covariances; Appendix H. Feynman's checkerboard; Bibliography; Index.
the theoretical foundations of play and learning. In this presentation, we explore pedagogical potentials of new technologies and traditional toys integrated into a physical and virtual toy (hereinafter called integrated toy) with specific focus on the open-ended toy and non-formal learning. The integrated toy......Toys play a crucial role in supporting children’s learning and creation of meaning in their everyday life. Children also play with toys out of an interest to interact with others e.g. peers and adults. Tendencies of digital technology in toys have led to greater opportunities for manipulation...... and interaction supporting children’s play and learning such that technology is ever-present in the play environments of children. Although electronics have been deployed in tools for play and learning, most of it has facilitated individual learning. Computer games, for instance, most often are designed...
Merlo, Domenico Franco; Vahakangas, Kirsi; Knudsen, Lisbeth E.
consent was obtained.Integrity is central to environmental health research searching for causal relations. It requires open communication and trust and any violation (i.e., research misconduct, including fabrication or falsification of data, plagiarism, conflicting interests, etc.) may endanger...
St. John Health consists of nine hospitals throughout southern Michigan. Recently, in an attempt to brand the system as the state's premiere place for medical services, the system launched 'Real Medicine', a campaign that brands all nine hospitals together. Using print, radio, and television spots, the effort also integrates direct mail collateral and brochures to reach consumers.
Harris, Robert; Smids, Annejoke; Kors, Ninja
This is an article about the integration of instrumental teaching, aural skills and keyboard skills and music theory at the pre-tertiary level. Team teaching and discipline crossover offer a possible solution to students’ inability to apply skills taught by specialists in separate fields. A personal
Bailey, David H.; Borwein, Jonathan M.; Crandall, Richard E.
By a "box integral" we mean here an expectation $\\langle|\\vec r - \\vec q|^s \\rangle$ where $\\vec r$runs over the unit $n$-cube,with $\\vec q$ and $s$ fixed, explicitly:\\begin eqnarray*&&\\int_01 \\cdots \\int_01 \\left((r_1 - q_1)2 + \\dots+(r_n-q_n)2\\right)^ s/2 \\ dr_1 \\cdots dr_n.\\end eqnarray* The study ofbox integrals leads one naturally into several disparate fields ofanalysis. While previous studies have focused upon symbolic evaluationand asymptotic analysis of special cases (notably $s = 1$), we workherein more generally--in interdisciplinary fashion--developing resultssuch as: (1) analytic continuation (in complex $s$), (2) relevantcombinatorial identities, (3) rapidly converging series, (4) statisticalinferences, (5) connections to mathematical physics, and (6)extreme-precision quadrature techniques appropriate for these integrals.These intuitions and results open up avenues of experimental mathematics,with a view to new conjectures and theorems on integrals of thistype.
Jørgensen, Michael; Nielsen, M. W.; Strømann-Andersen, Jakob Bjørn
and describe the decision process. Specific attention is given to how the engineering input was presented and how it was able to facilitate the design development. Site and context, building shape, organization of functions and HVAC-systems were all included to obtain a complete picture of the building......, low-energy consumption, and high-quality indoor environment. We use this case study to investigate how technical knowledge about building performance can be integrated into the conceptual design stage. We have selected certain points during the design process that represented design challenges...
During 1984, all portions of the Nova control system that were necessary for the support of laser activation and completion of the Nova project were finished and placed in service on time. The Nova control system has been unique in providing, on schedule, the capabilities required in the central control room and in various local control areas throughout the facility. The ambitious goal of deploying this system early enough to use it as an aid in the activation of the laser was accomplished; thus the control system made a major contribution to the completion of Nova activation on schedule. Support and enhancement activities continued during the year on the VAX computer systems, central control room, operator consoles and displays, Novanet data communications network, system-level software for both the VAX and LSI-11 computers, Praxis control system computer language, software management tools, and the development system, which includes office terminals. Computational support was also supplied for a wide variety of test fixtures required by the optical and mechanical subsystems. Significant new advancements were made in four areas in integrated controls this year: the integration software (which includes the shot scheduler), the Praxis language, software quality assurance audit, and software development and data handling. A description of the accomplishments in each of these areas follows
Vecchiato, Giovanni; Tieri, Gaetano; Jelic, Andrea; De Matteis, Federico; Maglione, Anton G; Babiloni, Fabio
Nowadays there is the hope that neuroscientific findings will contribute to the improvement of building design in order to create environments which satisfy man's demands. This can be achieved through the understanding of neurophysiological correlates of architectural perception. To this aim, the electroencephalographic (EEG) signals of 12 healthy subjects were recorded during the perception of three immersive virtual reality environments (VEs). Afterwards, participants were asked to describe their experience in terms of Familiarity, Novelty, Comfort, Pleasantness, Arousal, and Presence using a rating scale from 1 to 9. These perceptual dimensions are hypothesized to influence the pattern of cerebral spectral activity, while Presence is used to assess the realism of the virtual stimulation. Hence, the collected scores were used to analyze the Power Spectral Density (PSD) of the EEG for each behavioral dimension in the theta, alpha and mu bands by means of time-frequency analysis and topographic statistical maps. Analysis of Presence resulted in the activation of the frontal-midline theta, indicating the involvement of sensorimotor integration mechanisms when subjects expressed to feel more present in the VEs. Similar patterns also characterized the experience of familiar and comfortable VEs. In addition, pleasant VEs increased the theta power across visuomotor circuits and activated the alpha band in areas devoted to visuospatial exploration and processing of categorical spatial relations. Finally, the de-synchronization of the mu rhythm described the perception of pleasant and comfortable VEs, showing the involvement of left motor areas and embodied mechanisms for environment appreciation. Overall, these results show the possibility to measure EEG correlates of architectural perception involving the cerebral circuits of sensorimotor integration, spatial navigation, and embodiment. These observations can help testing architectural hypotheses in order to design
Mikhlin, Solomon Grigorievich; Stark, M; Ulam, S
Multidimensional Singular Integrals and Integral Equations presents the results of the theory of multidimensional singular integrals and of equations containing such integrals. Emphasis is on singular integrals taken over Euclidean space or in the closed manifold of Liapounov and equations containing such integrals. This volume is comprised of eight chapters and begins with an overview of some theorems on linear equations in Banach spaces, followed by a discussion on the simplest properties of multidimensional singular integrals. Subsequent chapters deal with compounding of singular integrals
Based on vertical projection proﬁles and structural features of Oriya characters, text lines are segmented into words. For character segmentation, at ﬁrst, the isolated and connected (touching) characters in a word are detected. Using structural, topological and water reservoir concept-based features, characters of the word ...
Mar 5, 2018 ... an OCR using Neural Network classifier preceded by a set of preprocessing .... Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs), which we adopt in this research, consist of ... advantage and disadvantages of each technique. In ,. Khemiri ...
B. El Kessab
In this context we propose a data set for handwritten Tifinagh regions composed of 1600 image (100 Image for each region. The dataset can be used in one hand to test the efficiency of the Tifinagh region recognition system in extraction of characteristics significatives and the correct identification of each region in classification phase in the other hand.
Full Text Available The Tifinagh alphabet-IRCAM is the official alphabet of the Amazigh language widely used in North Africa . It includes thirty-one basic letter and two letters each composed of a base letter followed by the sign of labialization. Normalized only in 2003 (Unicode , ICRAM-Tifinagh is a young character repertoire. Which needs more work on all levels. In this context we propose a data set for handwritten Tifinagh characters composed of 1376 image; 43 Image For Each character. The dataset can be used to train a Tifinagh character recognition system, or to extract the meaning characteristics of each character.
Kandel, Sonia; Herault, Lucie; Grosjacques, Geraldine; Lambert, Eric; Fayol, Michel
French children program the words they write syllable by syllable. We examined whether the syllable the children use to segment words is determined phonologically (i.e., is derived from speech production processes) or orthographically. Third, 4th and 5th graders wrote on a digitiser words that were mono-syllables phonologically (e.g.…
Segmentation of handwritten text into lines, words and characters .... We now discuss here some terms relating to water reservoirs that will be used in feature ..... is found. Next, based on the touching position, reservoir base-area points, ...
Warwick-Giles, Lynsey; Checkland, Kath
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to try and understand how several organisations in one area in England are working together to develop an integrated care programme. Weick's (1995) concept of sensemaking is used as a lens to examine how the organisations are working collaboratively and maintaining the programme. Design/methodology/approach Qualitative methods included: non-participant observations of meetings, interviews with key stakeholders and the collection of documents relating to the programme. These provided wider contextual information about the programme. Comprehensive field notes were taken during observations and analysed alongside interview transcriptions using NVIVO software. Findings This paper illustrates the importance of the construction of a shared identity across all organisations involved in the programme. Furthermore, the wider policy discourse impacted on how the programme developed and influenced how organisations worked together. Originality/value The role of leaders from all organisations involved in the programme was of significance to the overall development of the programme and the sustained momentum behind the programme. Leaders were able to generate a "narrative of success" to drive the programme forward. This is of particular relevance to evaluators, highlighting the importance of using multiple methods to allow researchers to probe beneath the surface of programmes to ensure that evidence moves beyond this public narrative.
Howard S. Cohl
Full Text Available We obtain definite integrals for products of associated Legendre functions with Bessel functions, associated Legendre functions, and Chebyshev polynomials of the first kind using orthogonality and integral transforms.
Wamelink, J.W.F.; Koolwijk, J.S.J.; van Doorn, A.J.
Process innovation related to integrated project delivery is an important topic in the building industry. Studies on process innovation through the use of integrated contracts usually focus on contractors, and particularly on the possibility of forward integration into the building process. Three
Lui, M; Chan, Andy; Long, Josh
Pro Spring Integration is an authoritative book from the experts that guides you through the vast world of enterprise application integration (EAI) and application of the Spring Integration framework towards solving integration problems. The book is:. * An introduction to the concepts of enterprise application integration * A reference on building event-driven applications using Spring Integration * A guide to solving common integration problems using Spring Integration What makes this book unique is its coverage of contemporary technologies and real-world information, with a focus on common p
Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Tactical Systems Integration Laboratory is used to design and integrate computer hardware and software and related electronic subsystems for tactical vehicles....
This Bachelor's thesis presents SAP CRM and integration systems testing analysis: investigation in SAP CRM and SAP PO systems, presentation of relationship between systems, introduction to third-party system (non-SAP) – Network Informational System (NIS) which has integration with SAP, presentation of best CRM testing practises, analysis and recommendation of integration testing. Practical integration testing is done in accordance to recommendations.
Guyt, J.; Macara, C.
This paper focuses on some of the issues necessary for pipeline operators to consider when addressing the challenge of managing the integrity of their systems. Topics are: Definition; business justification; creation and safeguarding of technical integrity; control and deviation from technical integrity; pipelines; pipeline failure assessment; pipeline integrity assessment; leak detection; emergency response. 6 figs., 3 tabs.
Frauenknecht, Stefan; Schmitz, Hans
Aim of the project for the NPPs Kruemmel and Brunsbuettel (Vattenfall) is the integral view of the business process as basis for the implementation and operation of management systems in the domains quality, safety and environment. The authors describe the integral view of the business processes in the frame of integrated management systems with the focus nuclear safety, lessons learned in the past, the concept of a process-based controlling system and experiences from the practical realization.
Full Text Available When we hold an object while looking at it, estimates from visual and haptic cues to size are combined in a statistically optimal fashion, whereby the ‘weight’ given to each signal reflects their relative reliabilities. This allows object properties to be estimated more precisely than would otherwise be possible. Tools such as pliers and tongs systematically perturb the mapping between object size and the hand opening. This could complicate visual-haptic integration because it may alter the reliability of the haptic signal, thereby disrupting the determination of appropriate signal weights. To investigate this we first measured the reliability of haptic size estimates made with virtual pliers-like tools (created using a stereoscopic display and force-feedback robots with different ‘gains’ between hand opening and object size. Haptic reliability in tool use was straightforwardly determined by a combination of sensitivity to changes in hand opening and the effects of tool geometry. The precise pattern of sensitivity to hand opening, which violated Weber’s law, meant that haptic reliability changed with tool gain. We then examined whether the visuo-motor system accounts for these reliability changes. We measured the weight given to visual and haptic stimuli when both were available, again with different tool gains, by measuring the perceived size of stimuli in which visual and haptic sizes were varied independently. The weight given to each sensory cue changed with tool gain in a manner that closely resembled the predictions of optimal sensory integration. The results are consistent with the idea that different tool geometries are modelled by the brain, allowing it to calculate not only the distal properties of objects felt with tools, but also the certainty with which those properties are known. These findings highlight the flexibility of human sensory integration and tool-use, and potentially provide an approach for optimising the
Ferguson, J.S.; Ferguson, J.E.
A Technology integration Process was developed for the Idaho National Energy Laboratories (INEL) Buried Waste Integrated Demonstration (BWID) Program to facilitate the transfer of technology and knowledge from industry, universities, and other Federal agencies into the BWID; to successfully transfer demonstrated technology and knowledge from the BWID to industry, universities, and other Federal agencies; and to share demonstrated technologies and knowledge between Integrated Demonstrations and other Department of Energy (DOE) spread throughout the DOE Complex. This document also details specific methods and tools for integrating and transferring technologies into or out of the BWID program. The document provides background on the BWID program and technology development needs, demonstrates the direction of technology transfer, illustrates current processes for this transfer, and lists points of contact for prospective participants in the BWID technology transfer efforts. The Technology Integration Process was prepared to ensure compliance with the requirements of DOE's Office of Technology Development (OTD)
| NREL Power Systems Integration Laboratory Power Systems Integration Laboratory Research in the Energy System Integration Facility's Power Systems Integration Laboratory focuses on the microgrid applications. Photo of engineers testing an inverter in the Power Systems Integration Laboratory
Olthuis, Raimey; Van der Kamp, John; Caljouw, Simone
There is a long-standing proposal for the existence of two neuroanatomically and functionally separate visual systems; one supported by the dorsal pathway to control action and the second supported by the ventral pathway to handle explicit perceptual judgments. The dorsal pathway requires fast
Full Text Available Weber’s law is among the basic psychophysical laws of human perception. It determines that human sensitivity to change along a physical dimension, the just noticeable difference (JND, is linearly related to stimulus intensity. Conversely, in direct (natural, visually guided grasping, Weber’s law is violated and the JND does not depend on stimulus intensity. The current work examines adherence to Weber’s law in telerobotic grasping. In direct grasping, perception and action are synchronized during task performance. Conversely, in telerobotic control, there is an inherent spatial and temporal separation between perception and action. The understanding of perception–action association in such conditions may facilitate development of objective measures for telerobotic systems and contribute to improved interface design. Moreover, telerobotic systems offer a unique platform for examining underlying causes for the violation of Weber’s law during direct grasping. We examined whether, like direct grasping, telerobotic grasping with transmission delays violates Weber’s law. To this end, we examined perceptual assessment, grasp control, and grasp demonstration, using a telerobotic system with time delays in two spatial orientations: alongside and facing the robot. The examination framework was adapted to telerobotics from the framework used for examining Weber’s law in direct grasping. The variability of final grip apertures (FGAs in perceptual assessment increased with object size in adherence with Weber’s law. Similarly, the variability of maximal grip apertures in grasp demonstration approached significance in adherence with Weber’s law. In grasp control, the variability of maximal grip apertures did not increase with object size, which seems to violate Weber’s law. However, unlike in direct grasping, motion trajectories were prolonged and fragmented, and included an atypical waiting period prior to finger closure. Therefore, in this condition, maximal grip aperture was an inappropriate indicator of JND. Instead, we calculated the aperture at the end of the opening phase, the initial grip aperture (IGA, and the FGA at the beginning of the waiting period, as more appropriate indicators for the JNDs. The IGAs adhered to Weber’s law. The FGAs approached significance in the same direction. This suggests that perception–action association during telerobotic grasping with transmission delays significantly diverges from direct grasping.
Van Wetter, Sigrid M C I; Van Opstal, A John
Localization of a brief visual target is inaccurate when presented around saccade onset. Perisaccadic mislocalization is maximal in the saccade direction and varies systematically with the target-saccade onset disparity. It has been hypothesized that this effect is either due to a sluggish representation of eye position, to low-pass filtering of the visual event, to saccade-induced compression of visual space, or to a combination of these effects. Despite their differences, these schemes all predict that the pattern of localization errors varies systematically with the saccade amplitude and kinematics. We tested these predictions for the double-step paradigm by analyzing the errors for saccades of widely varying amplitudes. Our data show that the measured error patterns are only mildly influenced by the primary-saccade amplitude over a large range of saccade properties. An alternative possibility, better accounting for the data, assumes that around saccade onset perceived target location undergoes a uniform shift in the saccade direction that varies with amplitude only for small saccades. The strength of this visual effect saturates at about 10 deg and also depends on target duration. Hence, we propose that perisaccadic mislocalization results from errors in visual-spatial perception rather than from sluggish oculomotor feedback.
Wetter, S.M.C.I. van; Opstal, A.J. van
Localization of a brief visual target is inaccurate when presented around saccade onset. Perisaccadic mislocalization is maximal in the saccade direction and varies systematically with the target-saccade onset disparity. It has been hypothesized that this effect is either due to a sluggish
Zago, Myrka; McIntyre, Joseph; Senot, Patrice; Lacquaniti, Francesco
Intercepting and avoiding collisions with moving objects are fundamental skills in daily life. Anticipatory behavior is required because of significant delays in transforming sensory information about target and body motion into a timed motor response. The ability to predict the kinematics and kinetics of interception or avoidance hundreds of milliseconds before the event may depend on several different sources of information and on different strategies of sensory-motor coordination. What are exactly the sources of spatio-temporal information and what are the control strategies remain controversial issues. Indeed, these topics have been the battlefield of contrasting views on how the brain interprets visual information to guide movement. Here we attempt a synthetic overview of the vast literature on interception. We discuss in detail the behavioral and neurophysiological aspects of interception of targets falling under gravity, as this topic has received special attention in recent years. We show that visual cues alone are insufficient to predict the time and place of interception or avoidance, and they need to be supplemented by prior knowledge (or internal models) about several features of the dynamic interaction with the moving object.
Trempe, Maxime; Sabourin, Maxime; Proteau, Luc
Consolidation is a time-dependent process that is responsible for the storage of information in long-term memory. As such, it plays a crucial role in motor learning. Prior research suggests that some consolidation processes are triggered only when the learner experiences some success during practice. In the present study, we tested whether…
Kasuga, Shoko; Hirashima, Masaya; Nozaki, Daichi
The proper association between planned and executed movements is crucial for motor learning because the discrepancies between them drive such learning. Our study explored how this association was determined when a single action caused the movements of multiple visual objects. Participants reached toward a target by moving a cursor, which represented the right hand's position. Once every five to six normal trials, we interleaved either of two kinds of visual perturbation trials: rotation of the cursor by a certain amount (±15°, ±30°, and ±45°) around the starting position (single-cursor condition) or rotation of two cursors by different angles (+15° and -45°, 0° and 30°, etc.) that were presented simultaneously (double-cursor condition). We evaluated the aftereffects of each condition in the subsequent trial. The error sensitivity (ratio of the aftereffect to the imposed visual rotation) in the single-cursor trials decayed with the amount of rotation, indicating that the motor learning system relied to a greater extent on smaller errors. In the double-cursor trials, we obtained a coefficient that represented the degree to which each of the visual rotations contributed to the aftereffects based on the assumption that the observed aftereffects were a result of the weighted summation of the influences of the imposed visual rotations. The decaying pattern according to the amount of rotation was maintained in the coefficient of each imposed visual rotation in the double-cursor trials, but the value was reduced to approximately 40% of the corresponding error sensitivity in the single-cursor trials. We also found a further reduction of the coefficients when three distinct cursors were presented (e.g., -15°, 15°, and 30°). These results indicated that the motor learning system utilized multiple sources of visual error information simultaneously to correct subsequent movement and that a certain averaging mechanism might be at work in the utilization process.
Grid Integration Research Grid Integration Research Researchers study grid integration of wind three wind turbines with transmission lines in the background. Capabilities NREL's grid integration electric power system operators to more efficiently manage wind grid system integration. A photo of
Distribution Integration Distribution Integration The goal of NREL's distribution integration research is to tackle the challenges facing the widespread integration of distributed energy resources NREL engineers mapping out a grid model on a whiteboard. NREL's research on the integration of
Transmission Integration Transmission Integration The goal of NREL's transmission integration integration issues and provide data, analysis, and models to enable the electric power system to more and finding solutions to address them to enable transmission grid integration. Capabilities Power
Sun Yi; Chang Haoran
By further examining the symmetry of external momenta and masses in Feynman integrals, we fulfilled the method proposed by Battistel and Dallabona, and showed that recursion relations in this method can be applied to simplify Feynman integrals directly. (authors)