Self-Feeding Kinematics in an Ecological Setting: Typically Developing Children and Children with Cerebral Palsy

Tal Krasovsky, Tal Keren-Capelovitch, Jason Friedman, Patrice L. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Assessment of self-feeding kinematics is seldom performed in an ecological setting. In preparation for development of an instrumented spoon for measurement of self-feeding in children with cerebral palsy (CP), the current work aimed to evaluate upper extremity kinematics of self-feeding in young children with typical development (TD) and a small, age-matched group of children with CP in a familiar setting, while eating with a spoon. Methods: Sixty-five TD participants and six children diagnosed with spastic CP, aged 3-9 years, fed themselves while feeding was measured using miniature three-dimensional motion capture sensors (trakStar). Kinematic variables associated with different phases of self-feeding cycle (movement time, curvature, time to peak velocity and smoothness) were compared across age-groups in the TD sample and between TD children and those with CP. Results: Significant between-age group differences were identified in movement times, time to peak velocity and curvature. Children with CP demonstrated slower, less smooth self-feeding movements, potentially related to activity limitations. Conclusions: The identified kinematic variables form a basis for implementation of self-feeding performance assessment in children of different ages, including those with CP, which can be deployed via an instrumented spoon.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9490250
Pages (from-to)1462-1469
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received April 29, 2021; revised June 23, 2021; accepted July 14, 2021. Date of publication July 19, 2021; date of current version July 28, 2021. This work was supported by the Israeli Center of Research Excellence “Learning in a Networked 269 Society” under Grant 1716/12. (Corresponding author: Tal Krasovsky.) This work involved human subjects or animals in its research. Approval of all ethical and experimental procedures and protocols was granted by the University of Haifa Institutional Review Board, under Approval No. 310/15, 2.11.2015.

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Efrat Shenhod-Malihi for her assistance with data analysis and Dr. Sandra Zuckerman who provided assistance with the statistical analysis. They also thank the children and their families who participated in the study. The author Tal Keren-Capelovitch carried out the data collection and part of data analysis while she was a doctoral student with the Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Haifa. In addition, she received a scholarship during her studies. This work was partially funded by the Learning in a Networked Society (LINKS) Israeli Center of Research Excellence (I-CORE), Grant 1716/12.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Israeli Center of Research Excellence "Learning in a Networked 269 Society" under Grant 1716/12.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2001-2011 IEEE.


  • Self-feeding
  • cerebral palsy
  • kinematics
  • typical development
  • upper extremity
  • Motion
  • Movement
  • Humans
  • Child, Preschool
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Upper Extremity
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Child

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neuroscience (all)
  • Internal Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering


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