Maura Casadio

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The main purpose of this study is to compare two different feedback controllers for the stabilization of quiet standing in humans, taking into account that the intrinsic ankle stiffness is insufficient and that there is a large delay inducing instability in the feedback loop: 1) a standard linear, continuous-time PD controller and 2) an intermittent PD(More)
The paper presents a control model of body sway in quiet standing, which aims at achieving bounded stability by means of an intermittent control mechanism. Control bursts are generated when the current state vector exits an area of uncertainty around the reference point in the phase plane. This area is determined by the limited resolution of proprioceptive(More)
The sway-density curve (SDC) is computed by counting, for each time instant, the number of consecutive samples of the statokinesigram falling inside a circle of small radius R. The authors evaluated the sensitivity of the curve to the variation of R and found that in the range 3-5 mm the sensitivity was low, indicating that SDC is a robust descriptor of(More)
In this study, we describe a device for the direct measurement of intrinsic ankle stiffness in quiet standing. It consists of a motorised footplate mounted on a force platform. By generating random sequences of step-like disturbances (1 degrees amplitude, 150 ms duration) and measuring the corresponding displacements of the center of pressure in the(More)
This paper reviews different approaches for explaining body sway while quiet standing that directly address the instability of the human inverted pendulum. We argue that both stiffness control [Winter, D. A., Patla, A. E., Riedtyk, S., & Ishac, M. (2001). Ankle muscle stiffness in the control of balance during quiet standing. Journal of Neurophysiology, 85,(More)
Cerebellar symptoms are extremely disabling and are common in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) subjects. In this feasibility study, we developed and tested a robot therapy protocol, aimed at the rehabilitation of incoordination in MS subjects. Eight subjects with clinically defined MS performed planar reaching movements while grasping the handle of a robotic(More)
We examined how people organize redundant kinematic control variables (finger joint configurations) while learning to make goal-directed movements of a virtual object (a cursor) within a low-dimensional task space (a computer screen). Subjects participated in three experiments performed on separate days. Learning progressed rapidly on day 1, resulting in(More)
This technical note describes a new robotic workstation for neurological rehabilitation, shortly named Braccio di Ferro. It has been designed by having in mind the range of forces and the frequency bandwidth that characterize the interaction between a patient and a physical therapist, as well as a number of requirements that we think are essential for(More)
Human upright posture, as a mechanical system, is characterized by an instability of saddle type, involving both stable and unstable dynamic modes. The brain stabilizes such system by generating active joint torques, according to a time-delayed neural feedback control. What is still unsolved is a clear understanding of the control strategies and the control(More)
Robot therapy seems promising with stroke survivors, but it is unclear which exercises are most effective, and whether other pathologies may benefit from this technique. In general, exercises should exploit the adaptive nature of the nervous system, even in chronic patients. Ideally, exercise should involve multiple sensory modalities and, to promote active(More)