Motor-Equivalent Intersegmental Coordination Is Impaired in Chronic Stroke

Sandeep K. Subramanian, Melanie C. Baniña, Krithika Sambasivan, Katherine Haentjens, Hillel M. Finestone, Heidi Sveistrup, Mindy F. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background. Kinematic abundance permits using different movement patterns for task completion. Individuals poststroke may take advantage of abundance by using compensatory trunk displacement to overcome upper limb (UL) movement deficits. However, movement adaptation in tasks requiring specific intersegment coordination may remain limited. Objective. We tested movement adaptation in both arms of individuals with chronic stroke (n = 16) and nondominant arms of controls (n = 12) using 2 no-vision reaching tasks involving trunk movement (40 trials/arm). Methods. In the “stationary hand task” (SHT), subjects maintained the hand motionless over a target while leaning the trunk forward. In the “reaching hand task” (RHT), subjects reached to the target while leaning forward. For both tasks, trunk movement was unexpectedly blocked in 40% of trials to assess the influence of trunk movement on adaptive arm positioning or reaching. UL sensorimotor impairment, activity, and sitting balance were assessed in the stroke group. The primary outcome measure for SHT was gain (g), defined as the extent to which trunk displacement contributing to hand motion was offset by appropriate changes in UL movements (g = 1: complete compensation) and endpoint deviation for RHT. Results. Individuals poststroke had lower gains and greater endpoint deviation using the more-affected compared with less-affected UL and controls. Those with less sensorimotor impairment, greater activity levels, and better sitting balance had higher gains and smaller endpoint deviations. Lower gains were associated with diminished UL adaptability. Conclusions. Tests of condition-specific adaptability of interjoint coordination may be used to measure UL adaptability and changes in adaptability with treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-221
Number of pages12
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • arm-trunk coordination
  • cerebrovascular accident
  • kinematics
  • upper limb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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