Tactile feedback plays a critical role in maximum finger force production

Jae Kun Shim, Sohit Karol, You Sin Kim, Na Jin Seo, Yoon Hyuk Kim, Yu Shin Kim, Bum Chul Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the role of cutaneous feedback on maximum voluntary force (MVF), finger force deficit (FD) and finger independence (FI). FD was calculated as the difference between the sum of maximal individual finger forces during single-finger pressing tasks and the maximal force produced by those fingers during an all-finger pressing task. FI was calculated as the average non-task finger forces normalized by the task-finger forces and subtracted from 100 percent. Twenty young healthy right-handed males participated in the study. Cutaneous feedback was removed by administering ring block digital anesthesia on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th digits of the right hands. Subjects were asked to press force sensors with maximal effort using individual digits as well as all four digits together, with and without cutaneous feedback. Results from the study showed a 25% decrease in MVF for the individual fingers as well as all the four fingers pressing together after the removal of cutaneous feedback. Additionally, more than 100% increase in FD after the removal of cutaneous feedback was observed in the middle and ring fingers. No changes in FI values were observed between the two conditions. Results of this study suggest that the central nervous system utilizes cutaneous feedback and the feedback mechanism plays a critical role in maximal voluntary force production by the hand digits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-420
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Feb 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by Seoul Olympic Sports Promotion Foundation of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea, Kyung Hee University International Scholars Program, and Korea University Grant ( K0823281 ). Authors appreciate Hyo Young Pyeon, PT, MHSc, and Young Ki Hong, MD, PhD, for their advice and help during experiments.


  • Anesthesia
  • Cutaneous feedback
  • Finger
  • Hand
  • Maximum force

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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