The University of Southampton

Hands research wins hands-down for Cheryl

Published: 29 May 2008

The endless fascination of hands, hand movement and functionality are the enduring research interest of Dr Cheryl Metcalf of the ECS Electronic Systems and Devices research group.

Cheryl's interest in hands developed from her PhD in which she studied dynamic hand movement.

'Up until recently, it has not been possible to study dynamic hand movements,' she says. 'Now, with improvements in 3D movement analysis systems, we have developed a model which makes it possible for the first time to assess true hand function and record it.'

Cheryl became fascinated by the possibility of measuring something as interesting as hand functions, particularly as the complexity of functional hand movements makes them historically very difficult to measure.

'The hand is how we interact with the world,' she said. 'It provides us with many of our communication skills, yet it tends to be overlooked in terms of health funding.'

Cheryl's research, carried out with other members of the School of Electronics and Computer Science and clinicians at local hospitals, is making real advances in the assessment and treatment of different impairments of the human hand.

Read more in our profile of Cheryl and her research.

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