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Exp Brain Res. 2017 Dec;235(12):3543-3552. doi: 10.1007/s00221-017-5074-5. Epub 2017 Sep 6.

Examining impairment of adaptive compensation for stabilizing motor repetitions in stroke survivors.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Korea.
Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland, 0110F School of Public Health, 4200 Valley Drive, College Park, MD, 20742, USA.
Department of Physical Therapy, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Korea University Guro Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Stroke Rehabilitation, National Rehabilitation Center, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland, 0110F School of Public Health, 4200 Valley Drive, College Park, MD, 20742, USA.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Kyung Hee University, Yong-In, Korea.


The hand, one of the most versatile but mechanically redundant parts of the human body, suffers more and longer than other body parts after stroke. One of the rehabilitation paradigms, task-oriented rehabilitation, encourages motor repeatability, the ability to produce similar motor performance over repetitions through compensatory strategies while taking advantage of the motor system's redundancy. The previous studies showed that stroke survivors inconsistently performed a given motor task with limited motor solutions. We hypothesized that stroke survivors would exhibit deficits in motor repeatability and adaptive compensation compared to healthy controls in during repetitive force-pulse (RFP) production tasks using multiple fingers. Seventeen hemiparetic stroke survivors and seven healthy controls were asked to repeatedly press force sensors as fast as possible using the four fingers of each hand. The hierarchical variability decomposition model was employed to compute motor repeatability and adaptive compensation across finger-force impulses, respectively. Stroke survivors showed decreased repeatability and adaptive compensation of force impulses between individual fingers as compared to the control (p < 0.05). The stroke survivors also showed decreased pulse frequency and greater peak-to-peak time variance than the control (p < 0.05). Force-related variables, such as mean peak force and peak force interval variability, demonstrated no significant difference between groups. Our findings indicate that stroke-induced brain injury negatively affects their ability to exploit their redundant or abundant motor system in an RFP task.


Fingers; Functional capacity impairment; Nervous system; Patient outcome assessment; Psychomotor performance; Stroke

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