Calibrating grasp size and reach distance: interactions reveal integral organization of reaching-to-grasp movements

Abstract

Feedback is a central feature of neural systems and of crucial importance to human behaviour as shown in goal directed actions such as reaching-to-grasp. One important source of feedback in reach-to-grasp behaviour arises from the haptic information obtained after grasping an object. We manipulated the felt distance and/or size of a visually constant object to explore the role of haptic information in the calibration of reaching and grasping. Crucially, our design explored post-adaptation effects rather than the previously documented role of haptic information in movement organisation. A post-adaptation reach-to-grasp task showed: (1) distorted haptic feedback caused recalibration; (2) reach distance and grasp size could be calibrated separately but, if calibrated simultaneously, then (3) recalibration was greater when distance and size changed in a consistent (e.g. reaching for a larger object at a greater distance) rather than an inconsistent (e.g. a smaller object at a greater distance) fashion. These interactions reveal the integral nature of reach-to-grasp organization, that is, that reaching and grasping are integrated components of a single action system.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Bingham and Romack (1999) showed that errors in reach direction resulted in recalibration of subsequent feedforward control even when feedback guidance allowed online correction of errors to yield accurate acquisition of the target at the end of each reach.

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Correspondence to Geoffrey P. Bingham.

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Coats, R., Bingham, G.P. & Mon-Williams, M. Calibrating grasp size and reach distance: interactions reveal integral organization of reaching-to-grasp movements. Exp Brain Res 189, 211–220 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-008-1418-5

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Keywords

  • Prehension
  • Motor control
  • Calibration
  • Somatosensory
  • Haptic
  • Feedback