Specifying Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation for Robot-assisted Hand Function Training in Stroke Therapy
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Following a stroke 90% of all patients suffer from a loss of arm and hand function, whereby 30-40% of them never regain full functionality ever again. Robot-assisted hand function training (RT) intensifies and complements common ergo-therapeutic treatment effectively. Most of robotic rehabilitation devices are connected to multimedia-environments offering playful training to promote motivation. “Rhythmic Acoustic Stimulation” (RAS), an effective therapeutic technique for post-stroke-treatment, was never specified, applied nor evaluated for RT. This paper suggests specified sound designs with rhythmic stimuli for RT that aim to enhance function and motivation. Four pilot experiments are described evaluating, if specified rhythmic stimulation designs applied during a fine motor task influence motivation and function in comparison to no stimulation. As results of these experiments indicate that rhythmic stimulation designs may enhance function and motivation, they are discussed for further observations applied in RT with stroke-patients.