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Thomas Nikodelis, Dimitra Moscha, Dimitris Metaxiotis and Iraklis Kollias

To investigate what sampling frequency is adequate for gait, the correlation of spatiotemporal parameters and the kinematic differences, between normal and CP spastic gait, for three sampling frequencies (100 Hz, 50 Hz, 25 Hz) were assessed. Spatiotemporal, angular, and linear displacement variables in the sagittal plane along with their 1st and 2nd derivatives were analyzed. Spatiotemporal stride parameters were highly correlated among the three sampling frequencies. The statistical model (2 × 3 ANOVA) gave no interactions between the factors group and frequency, indicating that group differences were invariant of sampling frequency. Lower frequencies led to smoother curves for all the variables, with a loss of information though, especially for the 2nd derivatives, having a homologous effect as the one of oversmoothing. It is proposed that in the circumstance that only spatiotemporal stride parameters, as well as angular and linear displacements are to be used, in gait reports, then commercial video camera speeds (25/30 Hz, 50/60 Hz when deinterlaced) can be considered as a low-cost solution to produce acceptable results.

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Semyon M. Slobounov, Shannon T. Poole, Robert F. Simon, Elena S. Slobounov, Jill A. Bush, Wayne Sebastianelli and William Kraemer

Assessment and enhancement of joint position sense is an inexact science at best. Anew method of evaluating and improving this sense using motion-tracking technology that incorporates computer visualization graphics was examined. Injured and healthy subjects were evaluated for their abilities to determine shoulder joint position, after abduction, in two tasks. The first was active reproduction of a passively placed angle. The second was visual reproduction of such an angle. A training protocol was added to determine the effectiveness of proprioceptive training in conjunction with 3-D visualization techniques. The primary findings were (a) a significant difference (p = .05) in the level of joint position sense in injured vs. healthy subjects; (b) significantly less accurate reproduction of larger shoulder abduction vs. the smaller movement in the active reproduction task; (c) significantly greater ability to accurately reproduce angles actively vs. visually; and (d) that proprioception training using 3-D visualization techniques significantly increased active and visual reproductions of passively placed angles.

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Robert Tibold, Gabor Fazekas and Jozsef Laczko

A three-dimensional (3-D) arm movement model is presented to simulate kinematic properties and muscle forces in reaching arm movements. Healthy subjects performed reaching movements repetitively either with or without a load in the hand. Joint coordinates were measured. Muscle moment arms, 3-D angular acceleration, and moment of inertias of arm segments were calculated to determine 3-D joint torques. Variances of hand position, arm configuration, and muscle activities were calculated. Ratios of movement variances observed in the two conditions (load versus without load) showed no differences for hand position and arm configuration variances. Virtual muscle force variances for all muscles except deltoid posterior and EMG variances for four muscles increased significantly by moving with the load. The greatly increased variances in muscle activity did not imply equally high increments in kinematic variances. We conclude that enhanced muscle cooperation through synergies helps to stabilize movement at the kinematic level when a load is added.

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Maarten Beek, Carolyn F. Small, Randy E. Ellis, Richard W. Sellens and David R. Pichora

Computer assisted surgical interventions and research in joint kinematics rely heavily on the accurate registration of three-dimensional bone surface models reconstructed from various imaging technologies. Anomalous results were seen in a kinematic study of carpal bones using a principal axes alignment approach for the registration. The study was repeated using an iterative closest point algorithm, which is more accurate, but also more demanding to apply. The principal axes method showed errors between 0.35 mm and 0.49 mm for the scaphoid, and between 0.40 mm and 1.22 mm for the pisiform. The iterative closest point method produced errors of less than 0.4 mm. These results show that while the principal axes method approached the accuracy of the iterative closest point algorithm in asymmetrical bones, there were more pronounced errors in bones with some symmetry. Principal axes registration for carpal bones should be avoided.

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Marina Kurgansky, Alexander Frolov, Marat Ioffe, Alexey Karabanov and Ludmila Chernikova

Early stage Parkinson’s disease (PD) shares certain symptoms with essential tremor (ET), which makes it difficult to differentiate between the two. We analyzed cyclical body bends to find kinematic parameters that are capable of differentiating among PD, ET and normal control (NC) subjects. A linear discriminant analysis of the joint angles showed a reliable distinction between NC and the two groups of patients, while differentiating reasonably well between PD and ET. PD patients showed difficulty performing hip segment rotation around the vertical axis, whereas ET patients demonstrated enlarged torso sway in the frontal plane. These findings suggest that kinematic parameters of body movement in the standing position are sensitive enough to serve as subclinical marks in the early diagnosis of PD and ET.

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Thomas Heinen

The goal of this study was to investigate the visual spotting hypothesis in 10 experts and 10 apprentices as they perform back aerial somersaults from a standing position with no preparatory jumps (short flight duration condition) and after some preparatory jumps with a flight time of 1s (long flight duration condition). Differences in gaze behavior and kinematics were expected between experts and apprentices and between experimental conditions. Gaze behavior was measured using a portable and wireless eye-tracking system in combination with a movement-analysis system. Experts exhibited a smaller landing deviation from the middle of the trampoline bed than apprentices. Experts showed higher fixation ratios during the take-off and flight phase. Experts exhibited no blinks in any of the somersaults in both conditions, whereas apprentices showed significant blink ratios in both experimental conditions. The findings suggest that gymnasts can use visual spotting during the back aerial somersault, even when the time of flight is delimited. We conclude that knowledge about gaze–movement relationships may help coaches develop specific training programs in the learning process of the back aerial somersault.

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Sonia Duprey, Fabien Billuart, Sungjin Sah, Xavier Ohl, Thomas Robert, Wafa Skalli and Xuguang Wang

Noninvasive methods enabling measurement of shoulder bone positions are paramount in clinical and ergonomics applications. In this study, the acromion marker cluster (AMC) method is assessed in comparison with a model-based approach allowing scapula tracking from low-dose biplanar radiograph images. Six healthy male subjects participated in this study. Data acquisition was performed for 6 arm abduction positions (0°, 45°, 90°, 120°, 150°, 180°). Scapula rotations were calculated using the coordinate systems and angle sequence was defined by the ISB. The comparison analysis was based on root mean square error (RMSE) calculation and nonparametric statistical tests. RMSE remained under 8° for 0° to 90° arm abduction and under 13.5° for 0° to 180° abduction; no significant differences were found between the 2 methods. Compared with previous works, an improved accuracy of the AMC approach at high arm abduction positions was obtained. This could be explained by the different sources of data used as the “gold standard.”

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Daniel Cury Ribeiro and Jefferson Fagundes Loss

Link segment models are usually used to calculate proximal net reaction forces (PRF), as well as, proximal net moments (PNM). The correlation between electromyographic data and PNM is usually used to verify the model’s results. Nevertheless, this method permits only a qualitative verification of the obtained results. To assess model’s results in a quantitative perspective, another approach is needed. The aim of the current study was to assess the propagation of uncertainty on a link segment model results and identify the main sources of error on the quantification of PRF and PNM. One male performed five repetitions of different upper limb movements. An inverse dynamics approach associate with 3D link segment model was used to quantify PRF and PNM. The results of the model were evaluated by the use of Kleine and McClintock’s equation. The propagation of uncertainty for PRF reached, on average, 0.27 and for PNM, 0.97. The main cause of propagation of uncertainty was associated to the second time derivative calculations. Consequently, it is possible to suggest that the reduction of small distortions of center of mass acceleration will diminish the proximal net moment and proximal reaction force uncertainty values.

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Junpei Sasadai, Yukio Urabe, Noriaki Maeda, Hiroshi Shinohara and Eri Fujii

Context:

Posterior ankle impingement syndrome is a common disorder in soccer players and ballet dancers. In soccer players, it is caused by the repetitive stress of ankle plantar flexion due to instep kicking. Protective ankle dorsiflexion taping is recommended with the belief that it prevents posterior ankle impingement. However, the relationship between ankle taping and ball-kicking performance remains unclear.

Objective:

To demonstrate the relationship between the restrictions of ankle taping and performance of an instep kick in soccer.

Design:

Laboratory-based repeated-measures.

Setting:

University laboratory.

Participants:

11 male university soccer players.

Intervention:

The subjects’ ankle plantar flexion was limited by taping. Four angles of planter flexion (0°, 15°, 30°, and without taping) were formed by gradation limitation. The subjects performed maximal instep kicks at each angle.

Main Outcome Measures:

The movements of the kicking legs and the ball were captured using 3 high-speed cameras at 200 Hz. The direct linear-transformation method was used to obtain 3-dimensional coordinates using a digitizing system. Passive ankle plantar-flexion angle, maximal plantar-flexion angle at ball impact, ball velocity, and foot velocity were measured. The data were compared among 4 conditions using repeated-measures ANOVA, and the correlations between ball velocity and foot velocity and between ball velocity and toe velocity were calculated.

Results:

Ankle dorsiflexion taping could gradually limit both passive plantar flexion and plantar flexion at the impact. Furthermore, limitation of 0° and 15° reduced the ball velocity generated by instep kicks.

Conclusion:

Plantar-flexion-limiting taping at 30° has a potential to prevent posterior ankle impingement without decreasing the ball velocity generated by soccer instep kicks.

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Yuji Matsuda, Yoshihisa Sakurai, Keita Akashi and Yasuyuki Kubo

Center of mass (CoM) velocity variation in swimming direction is related to swimming performance and efficiency. However, it is difficult to calculate the CoM velocity during swimming. Therefore, we aimed to establish a practical estimation method for the CoM velocity in swimming direction during front crawl swimming with underwater cameras. Ten swimmers were recorded during front crawl swimming (25 m, maximal effort) using a motion capture system with 18 underwater and 9 land cameras. Three CoM velocity estimation methods were constructed (single-hip velocity, both-hips velocity, and both-hips velocity with simulated arm velocity correction). Each model was validated against the actual CoM velocity. The difference between the single-hip velocity and the actual CoM velocity in swimming direction was significantly larger compared with that of the other 2 models. Furthermore, the accuracy of CoM velocity estimation was increased when both-hips velocity was corrected using the simulated arm velocity. The method allowed estimation of the CoM velocity with only 2 underwater cameras with a maximal difference of 0.06 m·s−1. This study established a novel and practical method for the estimation of the CoM velocity in swimming direction during front crawl swimming.