The objective analysis of eye movements has a significant history and has been long proven to be an important research tool in the setting of brain injury. Quantitative recordings have a strong capacity to screen diagnostically. Concurrent examinations of the eye and upper limb movements directed toward shared functional goals (e.g., eye-hand coordination) serve as an additional robust biomarker-laden path to capture and interrogate neural injury, including acquired brain injury (ABI). While quantitative dual-effector recordings in 3-D afford ample opportunities within ocular-manual motor investigations in the setting of ABI, the feasibility of such dual recordings for both eye and hand is challenging in pathological settings, particularly when approached with research-grade rigor. Here we describe the integration of an eye tracking system with a motion tracking system intended primarily for limb control research to study a natural behavior. The protocol enables the investigation of unrestricted, three-dimensional (3D) eye-hand coordination tasks. More specifically, we review a method to assess eye-hand coordination in visually guided saccade-to-reach tasks in subjects with chronic middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke and compare them to healthy controls. Special attention is paid to the specific eye- and limb-tracking system properties in order to obtain high fidelity data from participants post-injury. Sampling rate, accuracy, permissible head movement range given anticipated tolerance and the feasibility of use were several of the critical properties considered when selecting an eye tracker and an approach. The limb tracker was selected based on a similar rubric but included the need for 3-D recording, dynamic interaction and a miniaturized physical footprint. The quantitative data provided by this method and the overall approach when executed correctly has tremendous potential to further refine our mechanistic understanding of eye-hand control and help inform feasible diagnostic and pragmatic interventions within the neurological and rehabilitative practice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)