The Learning Benefits of Haptic Guidance Are Age-Dependent

Marchal Crespo, Laura; van Raai, Mark; Rauter, Georg; Wolf, Peter; Riener, Robert (2014). The Learning Benefits of Haptic Guidance Are Age-Dependent. In: Jensen, Winnie; Kæseler Andersen, Ole; Akay, Metin (eds.) Replace, Repair, Restore, Relieve – Bridging Clinical and Engineering Solutions in Neurorehabilitation. Biosystems & Biorobotics: Vol. 7 (pp. 65-73). Cham: Springer International Publishing 10.1007/978-3-319-08072-7_15

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In a previous study with young healthy subjects, we found that the training condition –haptic guidance, visual feedback, and no guidance- that enhanced learning of a discrete time-dependent task the most depended on the subjects’ initial skill level. Haptic guidance seemed to be especially suitable for initially less skilled subjects, while skilled subjects benefited more from visual feedback. The aim of the present study was to evaluate which feedback condition enhanced learning in a smaller group of elderly subjects. The experiment consisted in performing a fast tennis forehand stroke in a virtual environment. A tendon-based parallel robot was used to apply haptic guidance during training. Results showed that elderly subjects performed worse than young subjects during baseline, and that they reduced the errors by a similar amount. However, in contrast to the results obtained with young subjects, training without guidance resulted in better learning compared to training with visual and haptic guidance. Training with haptic and visual guidance was especially detrimental in subjects older than 75 years. Thereby, the training strategy that enhanced learning the most seemed to be age-dependent. The sensory and motor limitations associated with age may have limited the effectiveness of visual and haptic guidance.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Motor Learning and Neurorehabilitation
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation

UniBE Contributor:

Marchal Crespo, Laura and Riener, Robert


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 620 Engineering






Biosystems & Biorobotics


Springer International Publishing




Angela Amira Botros

Date Deposited:

19 Jun 2018 15:49

Last Modified:

18 Jun 2019 17:02

Publisher DOI:



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