Kinarm’s President and CEO Anne Vivian-Scott sat down with Dr. Sean Dukelow and Dr. Jennifer Semrau, the developers of the Arm Movement Matching (‘Kines’) task to discuss its utility in understanding kinesthesia.
In the interview Dr. Dukelow and Dr. Semrau discuss the importance of assessing kinesthesia or the ability to perceive limb motion to further understand proprioceptive impairments in subjects with stroke.
“Clinically, it [proprioceptive impairment] can go unrecognized,” says Dr. Dukelow.
Drs. Dukelow and Semrau speak to how robotic identification via Kinarm Labs™️ offers a finer-tuned method when compared to typical clinical tests for identifying and assessing kinesthesia deficits. It allows clinician-scientists like themselves to better observe and understand how kinesthesia deficits change and improve in the recovery of subjects with stroke over time.
“I came to realize that the robot was able to make movements reliably and repeat them moreso than I could do in my clinic…It made me realize that if you want to do things right, you really need some sort of mechanized device that can do things repeatedly.” says Dr. Dukelow.
In their endeavour to better understand and study kinesthesia, Dr. Dukelow and Dr. Semrau developed the Arm Movement Matching (‘Kines’) task in Kinarm Labs™️. During the task, the Kinarm robot moves the subject’s stroke-affected arm via a controlled trajectory to a given position. The subject is then instructed to use their less-affected/unaffected arm to match the speed and direction of the movement. The subject is to do so while their vision of both arms is blocked, which compels them to rely on somatosensation to perceive arm position.
“… So, what we’re doing with that less affected arm or unaffected arm is that we’re using that as the behavioural output and seeing: ‘can the person reproduce that movement similarly to what they felt or what they sensed?‘” Dr. Semrau explains.
Drs. Dukelow and Semrau anticipate that the Arm Movement Matching task alongside a suite of other tasks in Kinarm Labs™️ (such as the Arm Position Matching task which they also had a hand in developing) harbour great potential to further study proprioceptive impairments in various patient groups and bring about innovations in clinical practice.
According to Dr. Semrau, “This is just the beginning in terms of our understanding of proprioceptive impairments … and so I look forward to the next chapter of trying to figure this out.”
Watch the full interview with Dr. Dukelow and Dr. Semrau below.
To learn more about the interviewees’ research, check out Dr. Dukelow’s and Dr. Semrau’s labs. You can also read their papers regarding the development of the task in our Publications Database under Semrau et al. 2017 or Semrau et al. 2013.
The Arm Movement Matching task is a new addition to the Kinarm Standard Tests™ suite with Dexterit-E 3.9. For more information about Kinarm Labs™️ or Kinarm Standard Tests™️ please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: Kinarm Standard Tests™ are intended as research tools to contribute to the understanding of brain function and dysfunction. Kinarm Standard Tests™ do not directly offer a medical diagnosis of any type, nor are they to be used as an assessment tool to assist with diagnosis. A diagnosis of any brain injury or disease can be made only by a qualified physician or psychologist.