Models and Rehabilitation of Grasping

Dr. Jason Friedman, Ph.D.
Department of Physical Therapy

We study human movement in typical and clinical populations, with a focus on grasping and finger movements.


We are interested in fundamental questions such as how we learn to make new movements, how children develop motor skills during development, and how our motor function is affected by disorders such as stroke, dystonia or cerebral palsy. We also study the interconnection between decision making and human movements.


Our approach is to construct models that describe movement and force generation by the hand and arm, taking into account the biomechanics of the hand and the neural processes leading up to making movements. This approach gives us insights into the strategies behind the complex movements and force coordination required to successfully perform grasping and manipulation, as well as a greater understanding of the causes of differences in performance in individuals with motor disorders.


A goal of this research is to improve rehabilitation of hand function through improving our knowledge of these strategies.

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