Accurate control of human limbs involves both feedforward and feedback signals. For prosthetic arms, feedforward control is commonly accomplished by recording myoelectric signals from the residual limb to predict the user’s intent, but augmented feedback signals are not explicitly provided in commercial devices. Previous studies have demonstrated inconsistent results when artificial feedback was provided in the presence of vision; some studies showed benefits, while others did not. We hypothesized that negligible benefits in past studies may have been due to artificial feedback with low precision compared to vision, which results in heavy reliance on vision during reaching tasks. Furthermore, we anticipated more reliable benefits from artificial feedback when providing information that vision estimates with high uncertainty (e.g. joint speed). In this study, we test an artificial sensory feedback system providing joint speed information and how it impacts performance and adaptation during a hybrid positional-and-myoelectric ballistic reaching task. We found that overall reaching errors were reduced after perturbed control, but did not significantly improve steady-state reaches. Furthermore, we found that feedback about the joint speed of the myoelectric prosthesis control improved the adaptation rate of biological limb movements, which may have resulted from high prosthesis control noise and strategic overreaching with the positional control and underreaching with the myoelectric control. These results provide insights into the relevant factors influencing the improvements conferred by artificial sensory feedback.
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