Well-developed coordination of the upper extremities is critical for function in everyday life. Interlimb coordination is an intuitive, yet subjective concept that refers to spatio-temporal relationships between kinematic, kinetic and physiological variables of two or more limbs executing a motor task with a common goal. While both the clinical and neuroscience communities agree on the relevance of assessing and quantifying interlimb coordination, rehabilitation engineers struggle to translate the knowledge and needs of clinicians and neuroscientists into technological devices for the impaired. The use of ambiguous definitions in the scientific literature, and lack of common agreement on what should be measured, present large barriers to advancements in this area. Here, we present the different definitions and approaches to assess and quantify interlimb coordination in the clinic, in motor control studies, and by state-of-the-art robotic devices. We then propose a taxonomy of interlimb activities and give recommendations for future neuroscience-based robotic- and sensor-based assessments of upper limb function that are applicable to the everyday clinical practice. We believe this is the first step towards our long-term goal of unifying different fields and help the generation of more consistent and effective tools for neurorehabilitation.
Shirota, C., Jansa, J., Diaz, J., Balasubramanian, S., Mazzoleni, S., Borghese, N. A., & Melendez-Calderon, A. (2016, September 8). On the assessment of coordination between upper extremities: Towards a common language between rehabilitation engineers, clinicians and neuroscientists. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12984-016-0186-x