Designing a comprehensive system for analysis of handwriting biomechanics in relation to neuromotor control of handwriting

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2010
Thesis identifier
  • T12642
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • A comprehensive system for investigation of biomechanical and neuromuscular processes involved with producing handwriting and drawing was developed. The system included a pen-like grip measuring device that enabled the variations of finger grip force associated with writing and drawing to be measured while holding the pen in tripod grip. The pen was integrated with a digitiser tablet for recording x,ycoordinates and pressure of the nib and a motion analysis system for recording the limb and hand kinematics. It was observed that for line drawing in the y-direction of the tablet, finger forces were directly related to pen tip movement and finger forces were modulated in a repeatable and predictable fashion, while this was not the case for line drawing in the x-direction. This was evidence for longstanding assumptions. Wrist rotation was required for production of lines in the x-direction without excessive deviation. For writing tasks, it was observed that no two tasks performed by one subject share an identical writing process, not even when the writing results are (nearly) identical. The neuromuscular control apparatus is highly flexible and works in a coordinated fashion that allows production of nearly equal end-results by means of different mechanical and therefore neuromuscular processes. For spiral drawing, tremor that originates from the fingers, hand and arm was quantified with the transducer pen. Limb joint kinematics were displayed in three dimensions with colour coding of coordinate sample numbers. This method can reveal the origin of some forms of limb tremor. Pen grip force patterns during signature writing were found to be characteristic for subjects, which relate to their individual pen-hand interaction, resulting from fine control of distal joints. Variation between trials of the same subject was observed, revealing adaptations of the computational processes during writing. The potential for signature verification by means of finger force recording was explored.
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2010
Former identifier
  • 815984