Intermittent coupling between grip force and load force during oscillations of a hand-held object
Tightly coordinated grip force adaptations in response to changing load forces have been reported as continuous, stable, and proportional to the load force changes. Considering the existence of inherent sensorimotor feedback delays, current accounts of grip force–load force coupling invoke explicit predictive mechanisms in the form of internal models for feedforward control to account for anticipatory grip force modulations. However, recent findings suggest that the stability and regularity of grip force–load force coupling is less persistent than previously thought. Thus, the objective of the current study was to comprehensively quantify the time-varying characteristics of grip force–load force coupling. Investigations into the coupling’s dynamics during continuous 30 s bouts of load force oscillation revealed intermittent phases of coordination, as well as phases that varied in stability, rather than a persistent and continuously stable pattern of coordination. These findings have important implications for accounts of grip force–load force coupling and of anticipation in motor control, more broadly.
KeywordsGrip Coupling Intermittency Cross-recurrence quantification analysis
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