CAMPOS Research Colloquium - Wilsaan Joiner - March 08, 2023
From Mariel Vazquez
Speaker: Wilsaan Joiner, Professor, Neurology & Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior
Children with a unilateral congenital below elbow deficiency (UCBED) have one typical upper limb, and one that ends below the elbow, at the proximal level or mid forearm (i.e., lacking a hand). Children with UCBED were born with their limb difference and their affected muscles have never actuated an intact limb. Due to this lack of experience, it has been assumed that their abilities to purposefully modulate muscle activity is limited, subsequently influencing prosthetics designed for this population. We used ultrasound imaging techniques to study 7 children with UCBED. We demonstrate that all subjects could enact up to 10 distinct muscle patterns representing different grasp patterns. This provides insight into how motor control develops in the absence of the normal effector and serves as a guide for designing prostheses that leverage the full extent of these children’s motor control capabilities.