Nick Herman

Harvey Mudd College Mathematics 2008

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Final Thesis Report: Investigating the Use of Brainfingers in Children with Cerebral Palsy for Spatial-Motor Education
Thesis Advisor: Prof. Darryl Yong & Maria Klawe
Second Reader: Prof. Debra Mashek

Investigating the Use of Brainfingers in Children with Cerebral Palsy for Spatial-Motor Education

Cyberlink:Brainfingers is a human--computer user interface that supports hands-free computer access. This is especially valuable technology for disabled individuals who lack the motor skills necessary to use a keyboard and mouse easily. Over the course of two months, four students with cerebral palsy, a motor-disorder, used Brainfingers to play a variety of spatial software. The primary aims were to see if use of Brainfingers with spatial software could improve the spatial-motor abilities of students with cerebral palsy, as well as to assess any apparent behavioral changes. Two of the students showed a large increase in spatial abilities when assessed, and all students displayed improvement or no change in positive behavioral attributes. All students improved their control of Brainfingers over time, and expressed their desire to use Brainfingers in the future over other methods of accessing a computer. The implications of these results are discussed, as well as issues for further study.