Advertisement

Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 182, Issue 1, pp 47–57 | Cite as

Effects of visual uncertainty on grasping movements

  • Erik J. Schlicht
  • Paul R. Schrater
Research Article

Abstract

To successfully lift an object, a person’s fingers must be moved to locations where forces can be applied that are sufficient for maintaining contact and that allow for easy object manipulation. Obtaining such finger positions becomes more difficult when there is perceptual uncertainty about the location of the hand and object. However, knowledge about the amount of uncertainty could be incorporated into grasp plans to mitigate its effect. For example, during peripheral viewing the fingers could open wider to avoid colliding with or missing the object. The goal of this study is to determine the degree to which people incorporate their understanding of visual uncertainty when making a precision grasp. To investigate, subjects reached to a spatially fixed object whose retinal location was varied by fixating points 0–80° to the left of the object. This manipulation controlled the visual uncertainty of the hand and target without affecting the kinematic demands of the task. We found that people systematically changed their grasping behavior as a function of the amount of visual uncertainty in the task. Specifically, subjects’ maximum grip aperture increased linearly with target eccentricity. Moreover, the effect of visual uncertainty on finger trajectories could be captured by a single dimension of change along an axis. Together, these findings suggest that the sensorimotor system estimates visual uncertainty and behaviorally adjusts for it during grasping movements.

Keywords

Visual uncertainty Reach and grasp Maximum grip aperture Principal components analysis Displacement vector 

Notes

Acknowledgment

This project was funded by NIH grant NEI R01 EY015261.

References

  1. Berthier NE, Clifton RK, Gullipalli V, McCall D, Robin D (1996) Visual information and object size in the control of reaching. J Motor Behav 28:187–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brown LE, Halpert BA, Goodale MA (2005) Peripheral vision for perception and action. Exp Brain Res 165:97–106PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Burbeck CA (1987) Position and spatial frequency in large-scale localization judgments. Vision Res 27:417–428PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burbeck CA, Yap YL (1990) Two mechanisms for localization? Evidence for separation-dependent and separation-independent processing of position information. Vision Res 30:739–750PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cheng S, Sabes PN (2006) Modeling sensorimotor learning with dynamical systems. Neural Comput 18:760–793PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chieffi S, Gentilucci M (1993) Coordination between the transport and the grasp components during prehension movements. Exp Brain Res 94:471–477PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Connolly JD, Goodale MA (1999) The role of visual feedback of hand position in the control of manual prehension. Exp Brain Res 125:281–286PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cuijpers RH, Smeets JB, Brenner E (2004) On the relation between object shape and grasping kinematics. J Neurophysiol 91:2598–2606PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hamilton AF, Wolpert DM (2002) Controlling the action of statistics: obstacle avoidance. J Neurophysiol 87:2434–2440PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Harris CM, Wolpert DM (1998) Signal dependent noise determines motor planning. Nature 394:780–784PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hawkins DM (1994) The feasible solution algorithm for least trimmed squares regression. Comput Stat Data Anal 17:185–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jeannerod M (1981) Intersegmental coordination during reaching at natural visual objects. In: Long J, Baddeley A (eds) Attention and performance IX, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, pp 153–169Google Scholar
  13. Jeannerod M (1984) The timing of natural prehension movements. J Motor Behav 16:235–254Google Scholar
  14. Kording KP, Wolpert DM (2004) Bayesian integration in sensorimotor learning. Nature 427:244–247PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Levi DM, Klein SA (1996) Limitations on position coding imposed by undersampling and univariance. Vision Res 36:2111–2120PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Niemeier M, Crawford JD, Tweed DB (2003) Optimal transsaccadic integration explains distorted spacial perception. Nature 422:76–80PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Paulignan Y, Jeannerod M, MacKenzie C, Marteniuk (1991) Selective perturbation of visual input during prehension movements 2. The effects of changing object size. Exp Brain Res 87:407–420PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Paulignan Y, Frak VG, Toni I, Jeannerod M (1997) Influence of object position and size on human prehension movements. Exp Brain Res 114:226–234PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sabes PN, Jordan MI (1997) Obstacle avoidance and a sensitivity model of motor planning. J Neurosci 17:7119–7128PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Saunders J, Knill DC (2004) Visual feedback control of hand movements. J Neurosci 24:3223–3234PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sivak B, MacKenzie CL (1990) Integration of visual information and motor output in reaching and grasping: the contributions of peripheral and central vision. Neuropsychologia 28:1095–1116PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Smeets JBJ, Brenner E (1999) A new view on grasping. Motor Control 3:237–271PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Trommershauser J, Maloney LT, Landy MS (2003) Statistical decision theory and the selection of rapid, goal-directed movements. J Opt Soc Am A 20:1419–1433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Trommershauser J, Gepshtein S, Maloney LT, Landy MS, Banks MS (2005) Optimal compensation for changes in task-relevant movement variability. J Neurosci 25:7169–7178PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. van Beers RJ, Sittig AC, Denier van der Gon JJ (1998) The precision of proprioceptive position sense. Exp Brain Res 122:367–377PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Verboven S, Hubert M (2005) LIBRA: a MATLAB Library for Robust Analysis. Chemom Intell Lab Syst 75:127–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Whitaker K, Latham K (1997) Disentangling the role of spatial scale, separation and eccentricity in Weber’s law for position. Vision Res 37:515–524PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wing AM, Turton A, Fraser C (1986) Grasp size and accuracy of approach in reaching. J Motor Behav 18:245–260Google Scholar
  29. Wolpert DM, Ghahramani Z, Jordan MI (1995) An internal model for sensorimotor integration. Science 269:1880–1882PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.MinneapolisUSA

Personalised recommendations