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Adaptation of lift forces in object manipulation through action observation.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB), Physiology.
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2013 (English)In: Experimental Brain Research, ISSN 0014-4819, E-ISSN 1432-1106, Vol. 228, no 2, 221-234 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The ability to predict accurately the weights of objects is essential for skilled and dexterous manipulation. A potentially important source of information about object weight is through the observation of other people lifting objects. Here, we tested the hypothesis that when watching an actor lift an object, people naturally learn the object's weight and use this information to scale forces when they subsequently lift the object themselves. Participants repeatedly lifted an object in turn with an actor. Object weight unpredictably changed between 2 and 7 N every 5th to 9th of the actor's lifts, and the weight lifted by the participant always matched that previously lifted by the actor. Even though the participants were uninformed about the structure of the experiment, they appropriately adapted their lifting force in the first trial after a weight change. Thus, participants updated their internal representation about the object's weight, for use in action, when watching a single lift performed by the actor. This ability presumably involves the comparison of predicted and actual sensory information related to actor's actions, a comparison process that is also fundamental in action.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2013. Vol. 228, no 2, 221-234 p.
Keyword [en]
Action observation, Object manipulation, Motor learning, Human
National Category
Neurosciences Neurology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-73229DOI: 10.1007/s00221-013-3554-9ISI: 000320820900009PubMedID: 23681295OAI: diva2:630464
Swedish Research Council, 08667

This work was supported by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Swedish Research Council Project 08667, and the Strategic Research Program in Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute.

Available from: 2013-06-19 Created: 2013-06-19 Last updated: 2013-07-29Bibliographically approved

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Johansson, Roland S
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