The influence of visual and haptic material information on early grasping force.
ABSTRACT: In this paper, we assess the importance of visual and haptic information about materials for scaling the grasping force when picking up an object. We asked 12 participants to pick up and lift objects with six different textures, either blindfolded or with visual information present. We measured the grip force and estimated the load force from the object's weight and vertical acceleration. The coefficient of friction of the materials was measured separately. Already at an early phase in the grasp (before lift-off), the grip force correlated highly with the textures' static coefficient of friction. However, no strong influence on the presence of visual information was found. We conclude that the main mechanism for modulation of grip force in the early phase of grasping is the real-time sensation of the texture's friction.
Project description:The apparent heaviness of weights placed on the skin depends on their temperature. We studied the effects of such a temperature-weight illusion (TWI) on perception and action in 21 healthy volunteers. Cold (18 °C), thermal-neutral (32 °C, skin temperature) and warm (41 °C) test objects were placed onto the palm of the non-dominant hand. Their veridical mass was 350 g (light) or 700 g (heavy). Perception of heaviness was assessed with two psychophysical experiments (magnitude estimation, cross modal matching). Cold heavy objects felt about 20% heavier than thermal-neutral objects of the same mass, shape and material. In a subsequent grip-lift experiment, the test objects were grasped with a precision grip of the dominant hand and lifted off the palm of the non-dominant hand. The grip and lift forces exerted by the fingertips were recorded. The temperature of the objects had significant effects (ANOVA, p?<?0.05) on the peak grip and lift forces and on the peak grip force rate (i.e., the initial force incline). The peak grip force was about 10% higher when cold heavy objects were grasped and lifted, compared to lifts of otherwise identical thermal-neutral objects. The TWI was less pronounced when light objects or warm objects were handled. In conclusion, cooling of an object increases its apparent heaviness (perception) and influences scaling of the fingertip forces during grasping and lifting (action).
Project description:Successfully picking up and handling objects requires taking into account their physical properties (e.g., material) and position relative to the body. Such features are often inferred by sight, but it remains unclear to what extent observers vary their actions depending on the perceived properties. To investigate this, we asked participants to grasp, lift and carry cylinders to a goal location with a precision grip. The cylinders were made of four different materials (Styrofoam, wood, brass and an additional brass cylinder covered with Vaseline) and were presented at six different orientations with respect to the participant (0°, 30°, 60°, 90°, 120°, 150°). Analysis of their grasping kinematics revealed differences in timing and spatial modulation at all stages of the movement that depended on both material and orientation. Object orientation affected the spatial configuration of index finger and thumb during the grasp, but also the timing of handling and transport duration. Material affected the choice of local grasp points and the duration of the movement from the first visual input until release of the object. We find that conditions that make grasping more difficult (orientation with the base pointing toward the participant, high weight and low surface friction) lead to longer durations of individual movement segments and a more careful placement of the fingers on the object.
Project description:Handling our everyday life, we often react manually to verbal requests or instruction, but the functional interrelations of motor control and language are not fully understood yet, especially their neurophysiological basis. Here, we investigated whether specific motor representations for grip types interact neurophysiologically with conceptual information, that is, when reading nouns. Participants performed lexical decisions and, for words, executed a grasp-and-lift task on objects of different sizes involving precision or power grips while the electroencephalogram was recorded. Nouns could denote objects that require either a precision or a power grip and could, thus, be (in)congruent with the performed grasp. In a control block, participants pointed at the objects instead of grasping them. The main result revealed an event-related potential (ERP) interaction of grip type and conceptual information which was not present for pointing. Incongruent compared to congruent conditions elicited an increased positivity (100-200 ms after noun onset). Grip type effects were obtained in response-locked analyses of the grasping ERPs (100-300 ms at left anterior electrodes). These findings attest that grip type and conceptual information are functionally related when planning a grasping action but such an interaction could not be detected for pointing. Generally, the results suggest that control of behaviour can be modulated by task demands; conceptual noun information (i.e., associated action knowledge) may gain processing priority if the task requires a complex motor response.
Project description:WAY-EEG-GAL is a dataset designed to allow critical tests of techniques to decode sensation, intention, and action from scalp EEG recordings in humans who perform a grasp-and-lift task. Twelve participants performed lifting series in which the object's weight (165, 330, or 660?g), surface friction (sandpaper, suede, or silk surface), or both, were changed unpredictably between trials, thus enforcing changes in fingertip force coordination. In each of a total of 3,936 trials, the participant was cued to reach for the object, grasp it with the thumb and index finger, lift it and hold it for a couple of seconds, put it back on the support surface, release it, and, lastly, to return the hand to a designated rest position. We recorded EEG (32 channels), EMG (five arm and hand muscles), the 3D position of both the hand and object, and force/torque at both contact plates. For each trial we provide 16 event times (e.g., 'object lift-off') and 18 measures that characterize the behaviour (e.g., 'peak grip force').
Project description:Cervical myelopathy (CM) caused by spinal cord compression can lead to reduced hand dexterity. However, except for the 10?sec grip-and-release test, there is no objective assessment system for hand dexterity in patients with CM. Therefore, we evaluated the hand dexterity impairment of patients with CM objectively by asking them to perform a natural prehension movement. Twenty-three patients with CM and 30 age-matched controls were asked to reach for and grasp a small object with their right thumb and index finger and to subsequently lift and hold it. To examine the effects of tactile afferents from the fingers, objects with surface materials of differing textures (silk, suede, and sandpaper) were used. All patients also underwent the Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) test. Preoperative patients showed significantly greater grip aperture during reach-to-grasp movements and weaker grip force than controls only while attempting to lift the most slippery object (silk). Patients, immediately after surgery, (n = 15) tended to show improvements in the JOA score and in reaction time and movement time with respect to reaching movements. Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that some parameters of the prehension task could successfully predict subjective evaluations of dexterous hand movements based on JOA scores. These results suggest that quantitative assessments using prehension movements could be useful to objectively evaluate hand dexterity impairment in patients with CM.
Project description:The relationship between posture, muscle length properties and performance remains unclear, because of a lack of quantitative data. Studies on grasping tasks suggested that wrist position could favour the extrinsic finger flexor in regards to their length to maximise grip force performance. The present study aimed at providing quantitative evidence of the links between wrist posture, muscle capacities and grip capabilities. It combines experimental measurements and a musculoskeletal model including the force-length relationship of the four prime muscles used in grasping. Participants exerted their maximum grip force on a cylindrical dynamometer in four different wrist postures, including one freely chosen by participants (spontaneous). A musculoskeletal model computed the muscle force level and length from motion capture and muscle activation. Results revealed that participants exerted maximum grip force spontaneously, with a loss of force when using other postures. At muscle force and length level, grip force variation seems to be associated with all the muscles under study. This observation led to a first quantitative link between power grip, posture and muscle properties, which could provide more insight into neuromechanical interaction involved when grasping. The design of ergonomic devices could also benefit from this quantification of the relationship between wrist angle and muscle length properties.
Project description:Objective: Limitations with manual dexterity are an important problem for patients suffering from hemiparesis post stroke. Sensorimotor deficits, compensatory strategies and the use of alternative grasping configurations may influence the efficiency of prehensile motor behavior. The aim of the present study is to examine how different grasp configurations affect patient ability to regulate both grip forces and object orientation when lifting, holding and placing an object. Methods: Twelve stroke patients with mild to moderate hemiparesis were recruited. Each was required to lift, hold and replace an instrumented object. Four different grasp configurations were tested on both the hemiparetic and less affected arms. Load cells from each of the 6 faces of the instrumented object and an integrated inertial measurement unit were used to extract data regarding the timing of unloading/loading phases, regulation of grip forces, and object orientation throughout the task. Results: Grip forces were greatest when using a palmar-digital grasp and lowest when using a top grasp. The time delay between peak acceleration and maximum grip force was also greatest for palmar-digital grasp and lowest for the top grasp. Use of the hemiparetic arm was associated with increased duration of the unloading phase and greater difficulty with maintaining the vertical orientation of the object at the transitions to object lifting and object placement. The occurrence of touch and push errors at the onset of grasp varied according to both grasp configuration and use of the hemiparetic arm. Conclusion: Stroke patients exhibit impairments in the scale and temporal precision of grip force adjustments and reduced ability to maintain object orientation with various grasp configurations using the hemiparetic arm. Nonetheless, the timing and magnitude of grip force adjustments may be facilitated using a top grasp configuration. Conversely, whole hand prehension strategies compound difficulties with grip force scaling and inhibit the synchrony of grasp onset and object release.
Project description:Several investigations at a single-cell level demonstrated that the medial posterior parietal area V6A is involved in encoding reaching and grasping actions in different visual conditions. Here, we looked for a "low-dimensional" representation of these encoding processes by studying macaque V6A neurons tested in three different tasks with a dimensionality reduction technique, the demixed principal component analysis (dPCA), which is very suitable for neuroprosthetics readout. We compared neural activity in reaching and grasping tasks by highlighting the portions of population variance involved in the encoding of visual information, target position, wrist orientation and grip type. The weight of visual information and task parameters in the encoding process was dependent on the task. We found that the distribution of variance captured by visual information in the three tasks did not differ significantly among the tasks, whereas the variance captured by target position and grip type parameters were significantly higher with respect to that captured by wrist orientation regardless of the number of conditions considered in each task. These results suggest a different use of relevant information according to the type of planned and executed action. This study shows a simplified picture of encoding that describes how V6A processes relevant information for action planning and execution.
Project description:The friction between Al2O3 nanowires and silicon substrates of different surface textures was characterised by use of optical manipulation. It was found that surface textures had significant effect on both the friction and the effective contact area between a nanowire and a substrate. A genetic algorithm was developed to determine the effective contact area between the nanowire and the textured substrate. The frictional force was found to be nearly proportional to the effective contact area, regardless of width, depth, spacing and orientation of the surface textures. Interlocking caused by textured grooves was not observed in this study.
Project description:Ganel, Freud, Chajut, and Algom (2012) demonstrated that maximum grip apertures (MGAs) differ significantly when grasping perceptually identical objects. From this finding they concluded that the visual size information used by the motor system is more accurate than the visual size information available to the perceptual system. A direct comparison between the accuracy in the perception and the action system is, however, problematic, given that accuracy in the perceptual task is measured using a dichotomous variable, while accuracy in the visuomotor task is determined using a continuous variable. We addressed this problem by dichotomizing the visuomotor measures. Using this approach, our results show that size discrimination in grasping is in fact inferior to perceptual discrimination therefore contradicting the original suggestion put forward by Ganel and colleagues.