The task of supporting an object with one or two hands was used to test the applicability of the notion of synergy. Subjects sat with their dominant forearm supported up to the wrist while holding a cylindrical "cup" between their thumb and fingers. Force transducers recorded the grip force applied normal to the cup's side by the thumb and the force applied normal to the cup bottom. On different series, a supporting force was added to and released from the bottom of the cup by the subject's non-dominant hand or by the experimenter. As predicted, the results indicated feedforward adjustments of the grip force, and of the EMGs, and significant correlations between grip force and supporting force when they were produced by two hands of one person, and the lack of such closely tied changes when the two forces were produced by two different persons. In the latter case, different subjects could demonstrate grip force changes in different directions. The findings suggest that grip force adjustments represented peripheral patterns of a single central process (a single synergy) rather than being separately controlled focal and postural components of the action.PsycINFO classification: 2330.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology