The hand, one of the most versatile but mechanically redundant parts of the human body, must overcome imperfect motor commands and inherent noise in both the sensory and motor systems in order to produce desired motor actions. For example, it is nearly impossible to produce a perfectly consistent note during a single violin stroke or to produce the exact same note over multiple strokes, which we denote online and offline control, respectively. To overcome these challenges, the central nervous system synergistically integrates multiple sensory modalities and coordinates multiple motor effectors. Among these sensory modalities, tactile sensation plays an important role in manual motor tasks by providing hand-object contact information. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of tactile feedback in individual finger actions and multi-finger interactions during constant force production tasks. We developed analytical techniques for the linear decomposition of the overall variance in the motor system in both online and offline control. We removed tactile feedback from the fingers and demonstrated that tactile sensors played a critical role in the online control of synergistic interactions between fingers. In contrast, the same sensors did not contribute to offline control. We also demonstrated that when tactile feedback was removed from the fingers, the combined motor output of individual fingers did not change while individual finger behaviors did. This finding supports the idea of hierarchical control where individual fingers at the lower level work together to stabilize the performance of combined motor output at the higher level.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Experimental Brain Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2015 Sept 18|
- Motor redundancy
- Tactile feedback
ASJC Scopus subject areas