Apparatus for measuring and perturbing shoulder and elbow joint positions and torques during reaching

J Neurosci Methods. 1999 Jul 15;89(2):119-27. doi: 10.1016/s0165-0270(99)00053-9.


Visually guided reaching movements by monkeys has become an important paradigm for examining the function of various sensory and motor areas of the brain. However, a major problem with interpreting neural discharge during this motor task has been the difficulty to quantify and manipulate the mechanics of movement. To address this problem, a new experimental facility has been developed to allow neural recordings in a monkey while it makes movements with a mechanical linkage attached to its arm. The device (KINARM) has hinge joints aligned with the monkey's shoulder and elbow and allows the monkey to make arm movements in the horizontal plane. Custom-made fibreglass braces attach the linkage to the monkey's forearm and arm. Motors attached to the mechanical linkage provide angular position of the joints and apply torques either to the shoulder or elbow, or both. The KINARM is used in concert with a computer projection system that provides virtual targets in the plane of the arm. Preliminary results illustrate the ability of a monkey to perform a variety of multi-joint motor tasks under various static and dynamic loads.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Braces
  • Elbow Joint / physiology*
  • Haplorhini
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Shoulder Joint / physiology*
  • Torque*