Current literature suggests that greater than 50% of survivors of a stroke cannot accurately perceive where their upper extremity is positioned. Our recent work demonstrates that the extent to which this perception is affected can depend on how the task is performed. For example, individuals with stroke who have a deficit in mirroring the position of their passively- placed paretic forearm during a between-arms task may accurately reproduce the position of their actively-controlled paretic forearm during a single-arm task. Moreover, the ability of individuals with various types of unilateral lesions to locate their thumb can depend on whether they reach for their paretic thumb or non-paretic thumb. Consequently, we investigated to what extent the accuracy of individuals post-hemiparetic stroke in mirroring forearm positions on a between-arms task is influenced by various conditions. Eighteen participants with hemiparetic stroke rotated their reference forearm to a target position, and then rotated their opposite forearm to concurrently mirror the position of their reference forearm. This task was performed when participants referenced each forearm (paretic, nonparetic) at two target positions (extension, flexion) for two modes of limb control (passive, active). We quantified for every testing scenario of each participant their position-mirroring error. The number of times for which participants were classified as having a deficit was least when mirroring forearm positions at the flexed position when referencing their nonparetic forearm. Additionally, the difference in the magnitude of errors when participants referenced each arm was greater during active than passive movements. Findings from this study provide further evidence that the accuracy with which individuals post stroke perceive the position of their limbs can depend on how a task is performed. Factors to consider include whether movements are active versus passive, which limb is referenced, and where the limb is positioned.
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