Characteristics of grasping movements in a laboratory and in an everyday-like context

Otmar Leo Bock, Anne Züll

    Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungBegutachtung

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    To understand the principles of motor control, it is useful to know whether movements with the same physical constraints can be governed by different rules depending on the behavioral context. We therefore have recently introduced a paradigm in which subjects grasp from the same starting position to the same final object, once as a typical laboratory task and once as part of everyday-like behavior. In the laboratory context, grasping was repetitive, externally triggered and purposeless; in the everyday-like context, it was embedded in a complex activity, intentionally initiated, and served a purpose. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of data from that paradigm. Among 38 response parameters that reflected hand transport, grip shaping and object manipulation, 20 differed significantly between groups. Factor analysis further reduced them to four orthogonal factors: response speed, finger-object contact, response variability, and hand path curvature. This shows, for the first time, that behavioral context influences the execution of grasping movements in four independent ways, possibly reflecting four distinct functional modules in the motor system. This fits well with the view – derived from neurological data – that grasping is controlled by a set of interconnected brain areas which are differentially recruited to achieve different behavioral goals.
    ZeitschriftHuman movement science
    Seiten (von - bis)249-256
    PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 02.2013