Optimizing rehabilitation of grasp control through cognitive agency

Our objective is to investigate the potential role of
​cognitive agency to optimize hand grasp rehabilitation

Role of Agency in Hand Reach and Grasp Rehabilitation

The goal of this project is to investigate the role of agency, which indicates the sense of one as the true author of one's own movement, in hand reach and grasp tasks for post-stroke rehabilitation purposes. In this project, we aim to systematically alter visual perception of agency towards better movement performance. The results will be clinical relevant for hand prostheses training after SCI or upper-limb amputation and providing better virtual reality environments to accelerate post-stroke motor-relearning.

Reach Pinch Task

Hand Grasp Task

Virtual Reality Hand-Grasp Combined With Electroencephalography

In this project, we aim to investigate the relationship between sense of agency and electroencephalography (EEG) signals. The subjects performed hand-grasp motion in a virtual reality environment while EEG signals were measured from different brain regions associated with agency and readiness potential [1]. Our results indicate a positive R-relationship between agency and increased beta band apparent. With further analysis we aim to develop EEG-based automated procedure for adapting prosthesis control with better sense of agency and movement control.

Virtual Reality Hand-Reach With Reward Feedback

In this project, we aim to study the relationship between the sense of agency and visual feedback. Specifically, the visual feedback as a bi-modal knowledge of reward and penalty based on motion performance. The study was performed with a hand-reach task in a virtual reality environment. Motion performance metrics included speed, accuracy and path-length. Our preliminary results show that the 'reward feedback' improves sense of agency and reduces beta activation

Cognition Glove

In this project, we are developing an instrumented glove that effectively predicts secure grasp with force/flex data from the glove, using visual feedback and force measurement of a continuous pinch task. The Cognition Glove is also coupled with grasp task completion to sensory sequences, including visual, audio, and haptic feedback. We aim to reverse-engineer the sense of agency, where we produce a paradigm to modulate motion control performance to achieve a better sense of agency. This correlation between motor performance and sense of agency will be applied for benefiting neuro-motor rehabilitation for post-stroke patients.

Virtual Reality Agency Tuning With Multi-Degree of Freedom System

In this project, our goal is to investigate a multi degree-of-freedom (DOF) device's tuning according to sense of agency. We hypothesize that the operation in each DOF could be uniquely tuned according to the user's optimal sense of agency. A device is tuned based upon user-specific optimal parameters and performance is measured in a motion task. We also aim to investigate the point-of-interface difference between a 6-DOF Steward platform (that can physically translate and rotate) to a 6-DOF space mouse. We hypothesize that the Steward platform with additional point-of interface DOF should help user to produce greater proprioceptive involvement and achieve better agency tuning.


1. ​H.-G. Jo, M. Wittmann, T. Hinterberger, and S. Schmidt, “The readiness potential reflects intentional binding,” Front. Hum. Neurosci., vol. 8, Jun. 2014.​