ABOUT MOTOR FUNCTION: Even a simple motor movement involves many different regions of the body, but the primary motor cortex of the brain is one of the most important. It sends out electrical impulses through nerve cells called neurons, which control the execution of movement. Every part of the body is represented in the primary motor cortex; the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, and vice versa. Certain diseases or brain damage can disrupt these basic functions. For instance, cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects body movement and muscle coordination because of brain damage, which interferes with messages from the brain to the body, and vice versa. Children may develop motor control at different rates, which physical therapy may help accelerate.
WHAT IS HAPTICS? Haptics is the term for incorporating touch into digital, robotic, or real environments. It may be used to program resistance into a joystick for gaming, to add a touch sensation to gloves used in a virtual reality simulation, or to aid in physical therapy. This way, when manipulating an object (which is sometimes virtual), a user is able to be certain when it collides with another object, and not forced to rely on what he or she sees. Compare what it is like to walk normally and when your foot has fallen asleep. Similar to the benefit of having full feeling in your feet, adding touch to a virtual environment makes interactions less awkward and more life-like.