Grasping and hitting moving objects

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    Some experimental evidence suggests that grasping should be regarded as independent control of the thumb and the index finger (digit control hypothesis). To investigate this further, we compared how the tips of the thumb and the index finger moved in space when grasping spheres to how they moved when they were hitting the sphere using only one digit. In order to make the tasks comparable, we designed the experiment in such a way that subjects contacted the spheres in about the same way in the hitting task as when grasping it. According to the digit control hypothesis, the two tasks should yield similar digit trajectories in space. People hit and grasped stationary and moving spheres. We compared the similarity of the digits' trajectories across the two tasks by evaluating the time courses of the paths of the average of the thumb and the index finger. These paths were more similar across tasks than across sphere motion, supporting the notion that grasping is not controlled fundamentally differently than hitting. © 2011 The Author(s).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)487-496
    Number of pages10
    JournalExperimental Brain Research
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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