We studied the dependence between voluntary motion of a finger and pressing forces produced by the tips of other fingers of the hand. Participants moved one of the fingers (task finger) of the right hand trying to follow a cyclic, ramp-like flexion-extension template at different frequencies. The other fingers (slave fingers) were restricted from moving; their flexion forces were recorded and analyzed. Index finger motion caused the smallest force production by the slave fingers. Larger forces were produced by the neighbors of the task finger; these forces showed strong modulation over the range of motion of the task finger. The enslaved forces were higher during the flexion phase of the movement cycle as compared to the extension phase. The index of enslaving expressed in N/rad was higher when the task finger moved through the more flexed postures. The dependence of enslaving on both range and direction of task finger motion poses problems for methods of analysis of finger coordination based on an assumption of universal matrices of finger interdependence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology