It is likely that when using an artificially augmented hand with six fingers, the natural five plus a robotic one, corticospinal motor synergies controlling grasping actions might be different. However, no direct neurophysiological evidence for this reasonable assumption is available yet. We used transcranial magnetic stimulation of the primary motor cortex to directly address this issue during motor imagery of objects’ grasping actions performed with or without the Soft Sixth Finger (SSF). The SSF is a wearable robotic additional thumb patented for helping patients with hand paresis and inherent loss of thumb opposition abilities. To this aim, we capitalized from the solid notion that neural circuits and mechanisms underlying motor imagery overlap those of physiological voluntary actions. After a few minutes of training, healthy humans wearing the SSF rapidly reshaped the pattern of corticospinal outputs towards forearm and hand muscles governing imagined grasping actions of different objects, suggesting the possibility that the extra finger might rapidly be encoded into the user’s body schema, which is integral part of the frontal-parietal grasping network. Such neural signatures might explain how the motor system of human beings is open to very quickly welcoming emerging augmentative bioartificial corticospinal grasping strategies. Such an ability might represent the functional substrate of a final common pathway the brain might count on towards new interactions with the surrounding objects within the peripersonal space. Findings provide a neurophysiological framework for implementing augmentative robotic tools in humans and for the exploitation of the SSF in conceptually new rehabilitation settings.

Emerging of new bioartificial corticospinal motor synergies using a robotic additional thumb / S. Rossi, G. Salvietti, F. Neri, S.M. Romanella, A. Cinti, C. Sinigaglia, M. Ulivelli, T. Lisini Baldi, E. Santarnecchi, D. Prattichizzo. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 11:1(2021), pp. 18487.1-18487.11. [10.1038/s41598-021-97876-2]

Emerging of new bioartificial corticospinal motor synergies using a robotic additional thumb

C. Sinigaglia
Writing – Review & Editing
;
2021

Abstract

It is likely that when using an artificially augmented hand with six fingers, the natural five plus a robotic one, corticospinal motor synergies controlling grasping actions might be different. However, no direct neurophysiological evidence for this reasonable assumption is available yet. We used transcranial magnetic stimulation of the primary motor cortex to directly address this issue during motor imagery of objects’ grasping actions performed with or without the Soft Sixth Finger (SSF). The SSF is a wearable robotic additional thumb patented for helping patients with hand paresis and inherent loss of thumb opposition abilities. To this aim, we capitalized from the solid notion that neural circuits and mechanisms underlying motor imagery overlap those of physiological voluntary actions. After a few minutes of training, healthy humans wearing the SSF rapidly reshaped the pattern of corticospinal outputs towards forearm and hand muscles governing imagined grasping actions of different objects, suggesting the possibility that the extra finger might rapidly be encoded into the user’s body schema, which is integral part of the frontal-parietal grasping network. Such neural signatures might explain how the motor system of human beings is open to very quickly welcoming emerging augmentative bioartificial corticospinal grasping strategies. Such an ability might represent the functional substrate of a final common pathway the brain might count on towards new interactions with the surrounding objects within the peripersonal space. Findings provide a neurophysiological framework for implementing augmentative robotic tools in humans and for the exploitation of the SSF in conceptually new rehabilitation settings.
Settore BIO/09 - Fisiologia
Settore M-PSI/02 - Psicobiologia e Psicologia Fisiologica
Dipartimenti di Eccellenza 2018-2022 - Dipartimento di FILOSOFIA
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/869812
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