Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 189, Issue 3, pp 301–310 | Cite as

Finger force perception during ipsilateral and contralateral force matching tasks

  • Woo-Hyung Park
  • Charles T. Leonard
  • Sheng Li
Research Article


The aims of the present study were to compare matching performance between ipsilateral and contralateral finger force matching tasks and to examine the effect of handedness on finger force perception. Eleven subjects were instructed to produce reference forces by an instructed finger (index—I or little—L finger) and to reproduce the same amount force by the same or a different finger within the hand (i.e., ipsilateral matching task), or by a finger of the other hand (i.e., contralateral matching task). The results of the ipsilateral and contralateral tasks in the present study commonly showed that (1) the reference and matching forces were matched closely when the two forces were produced by the same or homologous finger(s) such as I/I task; (2) the weaker little finger underestimated the magnitude of reference force of the index finger (I/L task), even with the higher level of effort (relative force), but the two forces were matched when considering total finger forces; (3) the stronger index finger closely matched the reference force of the little finger with the lower level of relative force (i.e., L/I task); (4) when considering the constant errors, I/L tasks showed an underestimation and L/I tasks showed an overestimation compared to I/I tasks. There was no handedness effect during ipsilateral tasks. During the contralateral task, the dominant hand overestimated the force of the non-dominant hand, while the non-dominant hand attempted to match the absolute force of the dominant hand. The overall results support the notion that the absolute, rather than relative, finger force is perceived and reproduced during ipsilateral and contralateral finger force matching tasks, indicating the uniqueness of finger force perception.


Handedness Finger force perception Force matching task Ipsilateral matching task Contralateral matching task 



This study was supported in part by an NIH grant (1R15NS053442-01A1).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation ScienceThe University of MontanaMissoulaUSA

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