An fMRI Compatible Touchscreen to Measure Hand Kinematics During a Complex Drawing Task

Lieke Braadbaart, Gordon Buchan, Justin Hereward Gwilym Williams, Gordon David Waiter

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ntroduction: The measurement of human motion, or kinematics, is becoming increasingly important. More specifically the measurement of human motor control can give important information about a number of cognitive processes. However, due to the restricted environment of functional magnetic resonance imaging most studies involving kinematics have involved simple hand movements. We used a resistive touchscreen to measure the kinematics of human fine-motor control while simultaneously determining the neural basis of that control using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Methods: Eighteen participants aged 21 to 45 years (10 female) were recruited. During a 10 minute functional imaging session we recorded both the functional and kinematic response to a dynamic drawing task. We determined the impact of the active touchscreen in the MR environment by determining measures of signal drift and fluctuation. Maps of average neuronal response to the dynamic drawing task as well as measures of drawing ability were determined.
Results: We found no apparent effect of the touchscreen on signal either signal drift or fluctuation. We found significant functional activation in bilateral cerebellum, as well as the insula, and left supramarginal, postcentral and precentral gyri, consistent with previous findings.
Conclusion: In conclusion we have shown the neural responses to a dynamic drawing task performed with a resistive touchscreen within an MRI scanner are reliable and consistent with previous work and that kinematic information can reliably reproduce drawing shape.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-353
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Applied Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • fMRI
  • motor control
  • learning
  • kinematics


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