Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 178, Issue 2, pp 180–193 | Cite as

The effect of orientation on prehension movement time

  • Elsje van Bergen
  • Lisa M. van Swieten
  • Justin H. G. Williams
  • Mark Mon-Williams
Research Article


We explored the relationship between hand orientation and movement time. Three groups of participants (n = 8 per group) were asked to grasp an object rotated in one of the following planes: (1) coronal; (2) sagittal; (3) horizontal. In the coronal plane, the rotational requirements directly mapped onto the neuromuscular demands associated with a single joint-level degree of freedom movement. A simple lawful relationship was found between the extent of rotation (pronation or supination) and duration. Reach-to-grasp movements to objects rotated in the sagittal and horizontal plane produced different movement patterns. These patterns increased the muscle level degrees of freedom recruited (higher neuromuscular demands) and movement duration increased correspondingly though not in a simple manner. The results of the present study show unambiguously that object orientation influences the duration of reach-to-grasp movements.


Orientation Prehension Movement Coordination Duration Rotation 



This research was supported by a grant from Action Medical Research. The first two authors were supported by studentships from the Hersenstichting Nederland, the Stichting Bekker-La Bastide Fonds, and the VU Fondsendesk. The first author was additionally sponsored by the Dr. Hendrik Muller’s Vaderlandsch Fonds, the Stichting Doopsgezind Kindersteunfonds, and the Stichting Fundatie van de Vrijvrouwe van Renswoude.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elsje van Bergen
    • 1
  • Lisa M. van Swieten
    • 1
  • Justin H. G. Williams
    • 2
  • Mark Mon-Williams
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Institute for Fundamental and Clinical Human MovementVrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.College of Medicine and Life SciencesUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenScotland, UK

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