Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 196, Issue 4, pp 497–509 | Cite as

Trajectory of the index finger during grasping

  • Jason Friedman
  • Tamar Flash
Research article


The trajectory of the index finger during grasping movements was compared to the trajectories predicted by three optimization-based models. The three models consisted of minimizing the integral of the weighted squared joint derivatives along the path (inertia-like cost), minimizing torque change, and minimizing angular jerk. Of the three models, it was observed that the path of the fingertip and the joint trajectories, were best described by the minimum angular jerk model. This model, which does not take into account the dynamics of the finger, performed equally well when the inertia of the finger was altered by adding a 20 g weight to the medial phalange. Thus, for the finger, it appears that trajectories are planned based primarily on kinematic considerations at a joint level.


Finger Kinematics Trajectory Grasping 



This research was supported in part by the German–Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP) and by the Moross Laboratory at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Tamar Flash is an incumbent of the Dr. Hymie Morros Professorial chair. We thank Armin Biess for his assistance in generating the predicted trajectories.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and Applied MathematicsWeizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael
  2. 2.Macquarie Centre for Cognitive ScienceMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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