When people transport handheld objects, they change the grip force with the object movement. Circular movement patterns were tested within three planes at two different rates (1.0, 1.5 Hz) and two diameters (20, 40 cm). Subjects performed the task reasonably well, matching frequencies and dynamic ranges of accelerations within expectations. A mathematical model was designed to predict the applied normal forces from kinematic data. The model is based on two hypotheses: (a) the grip force changes during movements along complex trajectories can be represented as the sum of effects of two basic commands associated with the parallel and orthogonal manipulation, respectively; (b) different central commands are sent to the thumb and virtual finger (Vf - four fingers combined). The model predicted the actual normal forces with a total variance accounted for of better than 98%. The effects of the two components of acceleration - along the normal axis and the resultant acceleration within the shear plane - on the digit normal forces are additive.
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