The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in finger forces and their interactions in one-hand multi-finger force production tasks involving finger addition and removal. Eight male subjects were instructed to produce maximal (MVC) forces with explicitly instructed ('master') fingers. After reaching maximal force with a set of master fingers, the subjects added/removed one master finger while continuing to produce the MVC with the new group of master fingers. The non-instructed ('slave') fingers also produced forces (enslaving). Finger addition/removal led to changes in the forces of individual master fingers expected from earlier studies of maximal force production by different finger groups acting synchronously. A significant increase in the forces of remaining master fingers was observed after finger removal and a close-to-significant drop in the forces of previously recruited master fingers was observed after finger addition. These effects were larger when subjects started the task with a smaller number of explicitly involved fingers. The enslaving effects increased after finger addition while they did not change after finger removal. Forces produced by the same group of master fingers acting in different tasks showed no history-dependent effects. However, significant effects of history were seen in enslaving. These observations speak against hypotheses of more independent behaviour of effectors during their asynchronous involvement. They show that finger interaction may show effects of the history of finger involvement in a task.
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