Predictions specify reactive control of individual digits in manipulation.
2002 (English)In: Journal of Neuroscience, ISSN 0270-6474, E-ISSN 1529-2401, Vol. 22, no 2, 600-10 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
When humans proactively manipulate objects, the applied fingertip forces primarily depend on feedforward, predictive neural control mechanisms that depend on internal representations of the physical properties of the objects. Here we investigate whether predictions of object properties also control fingertip forces that subjects generate reactively. We analyzed fingertip forces reactively supporting grasp stability in a restraining task that engaged two fingers. Each finger contacted a plate mounted on a separate torque motor, and, at unpredictable times, both plates were loaded simultaneously with forces tangential to the plates or just one of the plates was loaded. Thus, the apparatus acted as though the plates were mechanically linked or as though they were two independent objects. In different test series, each with a predominant behavior of the apparatus and with interspersed catch trials, we showed that the reactive responses clearly reflected the predominant behavior of the apparatus. Whether subject performed the task with one hand or bimanually, appropriate reactive fingertip forces developed when predominantly both contact plates were loaded or just one of the plates was loaded. When a finger was unexpectedly loaded during a catch trial, a weak initial reactive response was triggered, but the effective force development was delayed by approximately 100 msec. We conclude that the predicted physical properties of an object not only control fingertip forces during proactive but also in reactive manipulative tasks. Specifically, the automatic reactive responses reflect predictions at the level of individual digits as to the mechanical linkage of items contacted by the fingertips in manipulation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 22, no 2, 600-10 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-82529PubMedID: 11784808OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-82529DiVA: diva2:661803