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Functional coupling between the limbs during bimanual reach-to-grasp movements

Lookup NU author(s): Katie German


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While it is frequently advantageous to be able to use our hands independently, many actions demand that we use our hands co-operatively. In this paper we present two experiments that examine functional binding between the limbs during the execution of bimanual reach-to-grasp movements. The first experiment examines the effect of gaze direction on unimanual and bimanual reaches. Even when subjects' eye movements are restricted during bimanual reaches so that they may only foveate, one target object, the limbs remain tightly synchronized to a common movement duration. In contrast, grip aperture is independently scaled to the size of the target for each hand. The second experiment demonstrates however, that the independent scaling of grip aperture is task dependent. If the two target objects are unified so that they appear to be part of a single object, grip apertures become more similar across the hands (i.e., grip aperture to the large target object is reduced in size while peak aperture to the small target item is increased in size). These results suggest that the coupling of the limbs can operate at a functional level. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jackson GM, German K, Peacock K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Human Movement Science

Year: 2002

Volume: 21

Issue: 3

Pages: 317-333

ISSN (print): 0167-9457

ISSN (electronic): 1872-7646

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/S0167-9457(02)00118-5


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