Visual and non-visual control of movement: the role of proprioception in upper limb function after stroke

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences



Author's Department/Program

Rehabilitation and Participation Science


English (en)

Date of Award

Winter 1-15-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Benjamin A. Philip

Committee Members

Dan Moran, Lisa Connor, Leeanne Carey, Alex Wong


p>This dissertation presents a series of studies into human reach and grasp, focusing on the neural systems and behaviors of upper-limb action that underly performance under varied sensory conditions: specifically, acting with and without visual feedback of the limb and under typical or impaired proprioceptive sensation (proprioceptive decline with aging and proprioceptive deficit following stroke). Under typical conditions, a combination of visual and non-visual (e.g., proprioception) sources of information are used to guide action. In the instance of stroke survivors or elderly individuals with proprioceptive deficits/decline, there may be a necessary reliance on visual information to perform. The studies are conducted in healthy adults (across the lifespan) and stroke survivors, who often suffer from somatosensory deficits. The overall goal of each study is: 1) the identification of neural systems involved in reaching and grasping without online visual feedback of the limb, 2) the development and validation of a novel approach to measuring upper-limb proprioceptive function, and 3) a pilot study using head-mounted VR to assess the relationship between proprioceptive capacity/deficit (healthy individuals and stroke survivors) and performance with or without online visual feedback of the limb during varied reaching tasks (ballistic reach vs slow/controlled reach).