Mechanisms for force adjustments to unpredictable frictional changes at individual digits during two-fingered manipulation.
1998 (English)In: Journal of Neurophysiology, ISSN 0022-3077, E-ISSN 1522-1598, Vol. 80, no 4, 1989-2002 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Previous studies on adaptation of fingertip forces to local friction at individual digit-object interfaces largely focused on static phases of manipulative tasks in which humans could rely on anticipatory control based on the friction in previous trials. Here we instead analyze mechanisms underlying this adaptation after unpredictable changes in local friction between consecutive trials. With the tips of the right index and middle fingers or the right and left index fingers, subjects restrained a manipulandum whose horizontal contact surfaces were located side by side. At unpredictable moments a tangential force was applied to the contact surfaces in the distal direction at 16 N/s to a plateau at 4 N. The subjects were free to use any combination of normal and tangential forces at the two fingers, but the sum of the tangential forces had to counterbalance the imposed load. The contact surface of the right index finger was fine-grained sandpaper, whereas that of the cooperating finger was changed between sandpaper and the more slippery rayon. The load increase automatically triggered normal force responses at both fingers. When a finger contacted rayon, subjects allowed slips to occur at this finger during the load force increase instead of elevating the normal force. These slips accounted for a partitioning of the load force between the digits that resulted in an adequate adjustment of the normal:tangential force ratios to the local friction at each digit. This mechanism required a fine control of the normal forces. Although the normal force at the more slippery surface had to be comparatively low to allow slippage, the normal forces applied by the nonslipping digit at the same time had to be high enough to prevent loss of the manipulandum. The frictional changes influenced the normal forces applied before the load ramp as well as the size of the triggered normal force responses similarly at both fingers, that is, with rayon at one contact surface the normal forces increased at both fingers. Thus to independently adapt fingertip forces to the local friction the normal forces were controlled at an interdigital level by using sensory information from both engaged digits. Furthermore, subjects used both short- and long-term anticipatory mechanisms in a manner consistent with the notion that the central nervous system (CNS) entertains internal models of relevant object and task properties during manipulation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1998. Vol. 80, no 4, 1989-2002 p.
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-32713PubMedID: 9772255OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-32713DiVA: diva2:305308