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RESEARCH

The arm and hand are crucial organs for life, and since ancient times, the human being has been interested in
their operation: "Man has taken care of hands from the most remote antiquity. Thus, Anaxagoras thought
that by them, he had become the most intelligent of living beings, unlike Aristotle, according to which, being
the most intelligent of living being is, for the reason he had his hands.”[1]

The brain-hand set has allowed man to advance in the technique to solve problems in an effective way: "from
a more practical point of view, the hand is the prolongation of the brain; understanding that , by its means,
not only activities as basic as protection, feeding and combat are carried out, but also the ones associated
with creation, such as sculpture, construction and drawing.”[2] In this sense, being the hand of the utmost
importance for life, it is a need for science and technology to find a solution to the anomalies that hinder or
impede the optimal functioning of the brain-hand set.

An important disease that requires an interdisciplinary study is the Parkinson’s disease, because comprises
the analysis of the brain signal generation and its relation with the limbs movements: “Parkinson’s disease
(PD) is a degenerative disorder of central nervous system that endangers the olds’ health seriously. The motor
symptoms of PD can be attributed to the distorted relay reliability of thalamus to cortical sensorimotor input
that results from the increase of inhibitory input from internal segment of the globus pallidum (GPi)” [3]

Objectives
The main goal of this internship is developing tools to understand how Parkinson’s disease alters the
dynamics of neuronal populations in the circuits responsible for motor control.

The specific goals are:

• To characterize the arm’s kinematics during movement tasks: joint angles and angular velocities
and inverse kinematics.

• To develop data-driven mathematical models of neuronal population activity and kinematic


variables.

• To analyze available data.

• To publish one journal article.

METHODOLOGY
Review Phase
In the first stage, it is proposed to recognize and analyze the previous work. Meaning to make a review of the
state of the art at a general level, and subsequently at a specific level of the neuromodulation research center.
It is necessary to collect useful information for the development of the project and organize it for later use.
The main topics to be reviewed are: mathematical models and algorithms to analyze activity of neuronal
populations, systems characterization, human arm kinematics, control techniques for feedback systems.
Additionally, a record of the developed activities and their results. It must be made in order to obtain an
organized collection at the end.
Methods Assessment: Arm Kinematics
Subsequently, it is proposed to start working on each specific topic. The first topic that will be addressed is
the arm kinematics characterization during movement tasks. To do so, it will be needed the use of analysis
methods for open loop chains (assemblage of rigid links connected by joints). In this field, there are two
perspectives. The first conventional side is the Denavit-Hartemberg method, which offers an effective
solution to problems regarding direct kinematics, inverse kinematics and differential kinematics. On the
other hand, the second option is the method of analysis by successive screws; this method is less used,
however, it offers a very interesting alternative, because it is based on allocation of axes and
displacements[4].

The crucial disadvantage for applying the aforesaid methods is the presence of elastic elements in the
human arm. The arm anatomy also enables the joint’s rotation axes to vary and this is exactly the main
problem to be solved since the kinematic analysis methods previously mentioned do not allow sort of
variation. There are some developed works for the kinematic analysis of the animal limbs, in which the joint
axes variation was found for different angles within the joints [5] [6]. On the whole, it is required to include
axes variations to have an exact model.

Results Dissemination
The final stage includes the organization of the obtained information under the activities carried out along
with the respective results, in order to write and publish a scientific paper. During the project, the progress
will be measured by saving images, developed programs and significant data so that this task becomes
simple at the end.