Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 168, Issue 1–2, pp 131–142 | Cite as

Control of aperture closure during reach-to-grasp movements in parkinson’s disease

  • M. K. Rand
  • A. L. Smiley-Oyen
  • Y. P. Shimansky
  • J. R. Bloedel
  • G. E. Stelmach
Research Article


This study examined whether the pattern of coordination between arm-reaching toward an object (hand transport) and the initiation of aperture closure for grasping is different between PD patients and healthy individuals, and whether that pattern is affected by the necessity to quickly adjust the reach-to-grasp movement in response to an unexpected shift of target location. Subjects reached for and grasped a vertical dowel, the location of which was indicated by illuminating one of the three dowels placed on a horizontal plane. In control conditions, target location was fixed during the trial. In perturbation conditions, target location was shifted instantaneously by switching the illumination to a different dowel during the reach. The hand distance from the target at which the subject initiated aperture closure (aperture closure distance) was similar for both the control and perturbation conditions within each group of subjects. However, that distance was significantly closer to the target in the PD group than in the control group. The timing of aperture closure initiation varied considerably across the trials in both groups of subjects. In contrast, aperture closure distance was relatively invariant, suggesting that aperture closure initiation was determined by spatial parameters of arm kinematics rather than temporal parameters. The linear regression analysis of aperture closure distance showed that the distance was highly predictable based on the following three parameters: the amplitude of maximum grip aperture, hand velocity, and hand acceleration. This result implies that a control law, the arguments of which include the above parameters, governs the initiation of aperture closure. Further analysis revealed that the control law was very similar between the subject groups under each condition as well as between the control and perturbation conditions for each group. Consequently, the shorter aperture closure distance observed in PD patients apparently is a result of the hypometria of their grip aperture and bradykinesia of hand transport movement, rather than a consequence of a deficit in transport-grasp coordination. It is also concluded that the perturbation of target location does not disrupt the transport-grasp coordination in either healthy individuals or PD patients.


Arm Finger Prehension Coordination Kinematics Human 



This study was supported by NIH grants NS 36752 and NINDS NS 39352, NS 40266. We are grateful to Mr. Richard Bauer, Ms. Quinn Emerson and Ms. Linda M. Squire for their technical support. We also thank Dr. Todd Ajax and Dr. Michael Kitchell for their help with subject recruitment. Portions of the results of this study were presented at the Society for Neuroscience 34th Annual Meeting, San Diego, USA, 2004.


  1. Adamovich SV, Berkinblit MB, Hening W, Sage J, Poizner H (2001) The interaction of visual and proprioceptive inputs in pointing to actual and remembered targets in Parkinson’s disease. Neuroscience 104:1027–1041CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Alberts JL, Tresilian JR, Stelmach GE (1998) The co-ordination and phasing of a bilateral prehension task The influence of Parkinson’s disease. Brain 121:725–742CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Alberts JL, Saling M, Alder CH, Stelmach GE (2000) Disruptions in the reach-to-grasp actions of Parkinson’s patients. Exp Brain Res 134:353–362CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Alberts JL, Saling M, Stelmach GE (2002) Alterations in transport path differentially affect temporal and spatial movement parameters. Exp Brain Res 143:417–425CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bennett KM, Marchetti M, Iovine R, Castiello U (1995) The drinking action of Parkinson’s disease subjects. Brain 118:959–970PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Castiello U, Bennett KMB (1994) Parkinson’s disease: reorganization of the reach to grasp movement in response to perturbation of the distal motor patterning. Neuropsychologia 32:1367–1382PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Castiello U, Bennett KMB, Alder CH, Stelmach GE (1993) Perturbation of the grasp component of a prehension movement in a subject with hemiParkinson’s disease. Neuropsychologia 31:717–723PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Castiello U, Bennett K, Chambers H (1998) Reach to grasp: the response to a simultaneous perturbation of object position and size. Exp Brain Res 120:31–40CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Castiello U, Bennett K, Bonfiglioli C, Lim S, Peppard RF (1999) The reach-to-grasp movement in Parkinson’s disease: response to a simultaneous perturbation of object position and object size. Exp Brain Res 125:453–462CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Davis JH (2002) Foundations of deterministic and stochastic control. Birkhäuser, BostonGoogle Scholar
  11. Debaere F, Wenderoth N, Sunaert S, Van Hecke P, Swinnen SP (2003) Internal versus external generation of movements: differential neural pathways involved in bimanual coordination performed in the presence or absence of augmented visual feedback. Neuroimage 19:764–776CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Desmurget M, Prablanc C, Arzi M, Rossetti Y, Paulignan Y, Urquizar C (1996) Integrated control of hand transport and orientation during prehension movements. Exp Brain Res 110:265–278CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Farley BG, Sherman S, Koshland GF (2004) Shoulder muscle activity in Parkinson’s disease during multijoint arm movements across a range of speeds. Exp Brain Res 154:160–175CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Flament D, Vaillancourt DE, Kempf T, Shannon K, Corcos DM (2003) EMG remains fractionated in Parkinson’s disease, despite practice-related improvements in performance. Clin Neurophysiol 114:2385–2396CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Folstein M, Folstein S, McHugh P (1975) “Mini-mental State” a practical method for grading the cognitive sate of patients for the clinician. J Psychiatr Res 12:189–198CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Gentilucci M, Negrotti A (1999) The control of an action in Parkinson’s disease. Exp Brain Res 129:269–277CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Gentilucci M, Chieffi S, Scarpa M, Castiello U (1992) Temporal coupling between transport and grasp components during prehension movements: effects of visual perturbation. Behav Brain Res 47:71–82PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Haggard P, Wing A (1991) Remote responses to perturbation in human prehension. Neurosc Lett 122:103–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Haggard P, Wing A (1995) Coordinated responses following mechanical perturbation of the arm during prehension. Exp Brain Res 102:483–494CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Haggard P, Wing A (1998) Coordination of hand aperture with the spatial path of hand transport. Exp Brain Res 118:286–292CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Hallett M, Khoshbin SA (1980) Physiological mechanism of bradykinesia. Brain 103:301–314PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hoff B, Arbib AM (1993) Models of trajectory formation and temporal interaction of reach and grasp. J Mot Behav 25:175–192PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jackson SR, Jackson GM, Harrison J, Kennard C (1995) The internal control of action and Parkinson’s disease: a kinematic analysis of visually guided and memory-guided prehension movements. Exp Brain Res 105:147–162CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Jeannerod M (1981) Intersegmental coordination during reaching at natural visual objects. In: Long J, Baddeley A (eds) Attention and performance IX. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, pp 153–168Google Scholar
  25. Jeannerod M (1984) The timing of natural prehension movements. J Mot Behav 16:235–254PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Khudados E, Cody FW, O’Boyle DJ (1999) Proprioceptive regulation of voluntary ankle movements, demonstrated using muscle vibration, is impaired by Parkinson’s disease. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 67:504–510PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Majsak MJ, Kaminski T, Gentile AM, Flanagan JR (1998) The reaching movements of patients with Parkinson’s disease under self-determined maximal speed and visually cues conditions. Brain 121:755–766CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Marteniuk GG, Leavitt JL, MacKenzie CL, Athenes S (1990) Functional relationships between grasp and transport components in a prehension task. Hum Mov Sci 9:49–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Morris ME, Iansek R, Matyas TA, Summers JJ (1996) Stride length regulation in Parkinson’s disease. Normalization strategies and underlying mechanisms. Brain 119:551–568PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Oliveira RM, Gurd JM, Nixon P, Marshall JC, Passingham RE (1997) Micrographia in Parkinson’s disease: the effect of providing external cues. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 63:429–433PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Paulignan Y, MacKenzie C, Marteniuk R, Jeannerod M (1991a) Selective perturbation of visual input during prehension movements: 1 The effects of changing object position. Exp Brain Res 83:502–512CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Paulignan Y, MacKenzie C, Marteniuk R, Jeannerod M (1991b) Selective perturbation of visual input during prehension movements: 2 The effects of changing object size. Exp Brain Res 87:407–420CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Plotnik M, Flash T, Inzelberg R, Schechtman E, Korczyn AD (1998) Motor switching abilities in Parkinson’s disease and old age: temporal aspects. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 65:328–337PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Rand MK, Stelmach GE (2005) Effect of orienting the finger opposition space in the control of reach-to-grasp movements. J Mot Behav 37:65–78PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rand MK, Shimansky Y, Stelmach GE, Bracha V, Bloedel JR (2000) Effects of accuracy constraints on reach-to-grasp movements in cerebellar patients. Exp Brain Res 135:179–188CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Rand MK, Shimansky Y, Stelmach GE, Bloedel JR (2004) Adaptation of reach-to-grasp movement in response to force perturbations. Exp Brain Res 154:50–65CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Rickards C, Cody FW (1997) Proprioceptive control of wrist movements in Parkinson’s disease. Reduced muscle vibration-induced errors. Brain 120:977–990CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Scarpa M, Castiello U (1994) Perturbation of prehension movement in Parkinson’s disease. Mov Disord 9:415–425CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Schenk T, Baur B, Steude U, Botzel K (2003) Effects of deep brain stimulation on prehensile movements in PD patients are less pronounced when external timing cues are provided. Neuropsychologia 41:783–794PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Schettino LF, Rajaraman V, Jack D, Adamovich SV, Sage J, Poizner H (2004) Deficits in the evolution of hand preshaping in Parkinson’s disease. Neuropsychologia 42:82–94PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Seidler RD, Alberts JL, Stelmach GE (2001) Multijoint movement control in Parkinson’s disease. Exp Brain Res 140:335–344CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Shimansky YP, Kang T, He J (2004) A novel model of motor learning capable of developing an optimal movement trajectory on-line from scratch. Biol Cybern 90:133–145CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Squire LM, Rand MK, Stelmach GE (2004) Effect of speed manipulation in the control of aperture closure during reach-to-grasp movements. Soc Neurosci Abstr 30:653.3Google Scholar
  44. Swinnen SP, Van Langendonk L, Verschueren S, Peeters G, Dom R, De Weerdt W (1997) Interlimb coordination deficits in patients with Parkinson’s disease during the production of two-joint oscillations in the sagittal plane. Mov Disord 12:958–968CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Teasdale N, Bard C, Fleury M, Young D, Proteau L (1993) Determining movement onsets from temporal series. J Motor Behav 25:97–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tresilian JR, Stelmach GE, Adler CH (1997) Stability of reach-to-grasp movement patterns in Parkinson’s disease. Brain 120:2093–2111CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Wallace SA, Weeks DL, Kelso JAS (1990) Temporal constraints in reaching and grasping behavior. Hum Mov Sci 9:69–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wang J, Stelmach GE (1998) Coordination among the body segments during reach-to-grasp action involving the trunk. Exp Brain Res 123:346–350CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Wang J, Stelmach GE (2001) Spatial and temporal control of trunk-assisted prehensile actions. Exp Brain Res 136:231–240CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Wang J, Stelmach GE (2000) Patients with Parkinson’s disease have motor synergy impairments in multijoint movements. Soc Neurosci Abstr 26:757Google Scholar
  51. Wierzbicka MM, Wiegner AW, Logigian EL, Young RR (1991) Abnormal most-rapid isometric contractions in patients with Parkinson’s disease. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 54:210–216PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. K. Rand
    • 1
  • A. L. Smiley-Oyen
    • 2
  • Y. P. Shimansky
    • 3
  • J. R. Bloedel
    • 2
  • G. E. Stelmach
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Kinesiology, Motor Control LaboratoryArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health and Human Performance and Biomedical SciencesIowa State University of Science and TechnologyAmesUSA
  3. 3.Harrington Department of Bioengineering, Arizona Biodesign InstituteArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

Personalised recommendations