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Concept: Fine motor skill


Hand coordination can allow humans to have dexterous control with many degrees of freedom to perform various tasks in daily living. An important contributing factor to this important ability is the complex biomechanical architecture of the human hand. However, drawing a clear functional link between biomechanical architecture and hand coordination is challenging. It is not understood which biomechanical characteristics are responsible for hand coordination and what specific effect each biomechanical characteristic has. To explore this link, we first inspected the characteristics of hand coordination during daily tasks through a statistical analysis of the kinematic data, which were collected from thirty right-handed subjects during a multitude of grasping tasks. Then, the functional link between biomechanical architecture and hand coordination was drawn by establishing the clear corresponding causality between the tendinous connective characteristics of the human hand and the coordinated characteristics during daily grasping activities. The explicit functional link indicates that the biomechanical characteristic of tendinous connective architecture between muscles and articulations is the proper design by the Creator to perform a multitude of daily tasks in a comfortable way. The clear link between the structure and the function of the human hand also suggests that the design of a multifunctional robotic hand should be able to better imitate such basic architecture.

Concepts: Statistics, Motor control, Task, Hand, Characteristic, Hand strength, Fine motor skill


Human non-hairy (glabrous) skin of the fingers, palms and soles wrinkles after prolonged exposure to water. Wrinkling is a sympathetic nervous system-dependent process but little is known about the physiology and potential functions of water-induced skin wrinkling. Here we investigated the idea that wrinkling might improve handling of wet objects by measuring the performance of a large cohort of human subjects (n = 40) in a manual dexterity task. We also tested the idea that skin wrinkling has an impact on tactile acuity or vibrotactile sensation using two independent sensory tasks. We found that skin wrinkling did not improve dexterity in handling wet objects nor did it affect any aspect of touch sensitivity measured. Thus water-induced wrinkling appears to have no significant impact on tactile driven performance or dexterity in handling wet or dry objects.

Concepts: Sensory system, Skin, Sense, Somatosensory system, Prolonged exposure therapy, Proprioception, Hand, Fine motor skill


The study seeks to determine the influence of computer games on fine motor skills in young adults, an area of incomplete understanding and verification. We hypothesized that computer gaming could have a positive influence on basic motor skills, such as precision, aiming, speed, dexterity, or tremor. We examined 30 habitual game users (F/M - 3/27; age range 20-25 years) of the highly interactive game Counter Strike, in which players impersonate soldiers on a battlefield, and 30 age- and gender-matched subjects who declared never to play games. Selected tests from the Vienna Test System were used to assess fine motor skills and tremor. The results demonstrate that the game users scored appreciably better than the control subjects in all tests employed. In particular, the players did significantly better in the precision of arm-hand movements, as expressed by a lower time of errors, 1.6 ± 0.6 vs. 2.8 ± 0.6 s, a lower error rate, 13.6 ± 0.3 vs. 20.4 ± 2.2, and a shorter total time of performing a task, 14.6 ± 2.9 vs. 32.1 ± 4.5 s in non-players, respectively; p < 0.001 all. The findings demonstrate a positive influence of computer games on psychomotor functioning. We submit that playing computer games may be a useful training tool to increase fine motor skills and movement coordination.

Concepts: Motor control, Motor skills, Video game, Half-life, Fine motor skill, Counter-Strike, Personal computer game, Electronic game


The author describes a cricothyrotomy system that consists of two devices that, packaged together, are labeled the Control-Cric™ system. The Cric-Key™ was invented to verify tracheal location during surgical airway procedures?without the need for visualization, aspiration of air, or reliance on clinicians? fine motor skills. The Cric-Knife™ combines a scalpel with an overlying sliding hook to facilitate a smooth transition from membrane incision to hook insertion and tracheal control. In a recent test versus a traditional open technique, this system had a higher success rate and was faster to implement.

Concepts: Surgery, Motor control, Motor skill, Motor skills, Fine motor skill


Superior manual dexterity in higher primates emerged together with the appearance of cortico-motoneuronal (CM) connections during the evolution of the mammalian corticospinal (CS) system. Previously thought to be specific to higher primates, we identified transient CM connections in early postnatal mice, which are eventually eliminated by Sema6D-PlexA1 signaling. PlexA1 mutant mice maintain CM connections into adulthood and exhibit superior manual dexterity as compared with that of controls. Last, differing PlexA1 expression in layer 5 of the motor cortex, which is strong in wild-type mice but weak in humans, may be explained by FEZF2-mediated cis-regulatory elements that are found only in higher primates. Thus, species-dependent regulation of PlexA1 expression may have been crucial in the evolution of mammalian CS systems that improved fine motor control in higher primates.

Concepts: Gene, Human, Motor control, Primate, Hand, Primary motor cortex, Motor skills, Fine motor skill


We investigated the long-term implications of infantile thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency on motor function in preschoolers who had been fed during the first 2 years of life with a faulty milk substitute. In this retrospective cohort study, 39 children aged 5-6 years who had been exposed to a thiamine-deficient formula during infancy were compared with 30 age-matched healthy children with unremarkable infant nutritional history. The motor function of the participants was evaluated with The Movement Assessment Battery for Children (M-ABC) and the Zuk Assessment. Both evaluation tools revealed statistically significant differences between the exposed and unexposed groups for gross and fine motor development (p < .001, ball skills p = .01) and grapho-motor development (p = .004). The differences were especially noteworthy on M-ABC testing for balance control functioning (p < .001, OR 5.4; 95% CI 3.4-7.4) and fine motor skills (p < .001, OR 3.2; 95% CI 1.8-4.6). In the exposed group, both assessments concurred on the high rate of children exhibiting motor function difficulties in comparison to unexposed group (M-ABC: 56% vs. 10%, Zuk Assessment: 59% vs. 3%, p < .001). Thiamine deficiency in infancy has long-term implications on gross and fine motor function and balance skills in childhood, thiamine having a crucial role in normal motor development. The study emphasizes the importance of proper infant feeding and regulatory control of breast milk substitutes.

Concepts: Cohort study, Statistical significance, Milk, Vitamin, Motor skill, Thiamine, Beriberi, Fine motor skill


STUDY DESIGN.: Prospective randomized study. OBJECTIVE.: To investigate differences in physical functional outcome in patients with radiculopathy due to cervical disc disease, after structured physiotherapy alone (consisting of neck-specific exercises with a cognitive-behavioral approach) versus after anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF) followed by the same structured physiotherapy program. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA.: No earlier studies have evaluated the effectiveness of a structured physiotherapy program or postoperative physical rehabilitation after ACDF for patients with magnetic resonance imaging-verified nerve compression due to cervical disc disease. METHODS.: Our prospective randomized study included 63 patients with radiculopathy and magnetic resonance imaging-verified nerve root compression, who were randomized to receive either ACDF in combination with physiotherapy or physiotherapy alone. For 49 of these patients, an independent examiner measured functional outcomes, including active range of neck motion, neck muscle endurance, and hand-related functioning before treatment and at 3-, 6-, 12-, and 24-month follow-ups. RESULTS.: There were no significant differences between the 2 treatment alternatives in any of the measurements performed (P = 0.17-0.91). Both groups showed improvements over time in neck muscle endurance (P ≤ 0.01), manual dexterity (P ≤ 0.03), and right-handgrip strength (P = 0.01). CONCLUSION.: Compared with a structured physiotherapy program alone, ACDF followed by physiotherapy did not result in additional improvements in neck active range of motion, neck muscle endurance, or hand-related function in patients with radiculopathy. We suggest that a structured physiotherapy program should precede a decision for ACDF intervention in patients with radiculopathy, to reduce the need for surgery.Level of Evidence: 2.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Muscle, Exercise, Sciatica, Programming language, Massage, Imperative programming, Fine motor skill


To determine factors characterizing the differences in fine motor performance between stroke patients and controls. To confirm the relevance of the factors by analyzing their predictive power with regard to the Jebsen Taylor Hand Function Test (JTHFT), a common clinical test of fine motor control.

Concepts: Scientific method, Regression analysis, Critical thinking, Motor control, Motor skill, Hand, Motor skills, Fine motor skill


The Stroke Canada Optimization of Rehabilitation by Evidence-Implementation Trial (SCORE-IT) showed that a facilitated knowledge translation (KT) approach to implementing a stroke rehabilitation guideline was more likely than passive strategies to improve functional walking capacity, but not gross manual dexterity, among patients in rehabilitation hospitals. This paper presents the results of a planned process evaluation designed to assess whether the type and number of recommended treatments implemented by stroke teams in each group would help to explain the results related to patient outcomes.

Concepts: Patient, Hospital, Physician, Implementation, Fine motor skill


Fine motor skill impairments are common in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), significantly affecting quality of life. Sensory inputs reaching the primary motor cortex (M1) from the somatosensory cortex (S1) are likely involved in fine motor skill and specifically motor learning. However, the role of these connections has not been directly investigated in humans. This study aimed to investigate, for the first time, the role of the S1-M1 connections in healthy subjects in vivo and whether microstructural alterations are associated with motor impairment in ASD.

Concepts: Cerebrum, Motor control, Autism, Learning, Autism spectrum, Hand, Motor skills, Fine motor skill