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Influences of Cutaneous Sensory Input on the Motor Coordination during Precision Manipulation

  • R. S. Johansson
  • G. Westling
Chapter
Part of the Wenner-Gren Center International Symposium Series book series (EMISS, volume 12)

Abstract

Despite that tactile skin sensation has been regarded as essential for refined motor acts since long ago (e.g. Mott & Sherrington, 1895), little is known about the functional role of tactile afferent input in the control of hand movements and posture. In various lesions of sensory nerves supplying the hand, patients often exhibit motor defects although the innervation of the muscles may be intact. Indeed, rather than emphasizing the loss of sensibility, such patients make complaints about their motor deficiences (e.g. Moberg, 1962). Typically, they show difficulties with gripping and holding objects and clumsiness during fine manipulatory movements. Tasks involving the precision grip (Napier, 1956) between the tips of fingers and thumb appear to be particularly affected. These difficulties indicate an impaired balance, or coordination, between the grip forces and the load forces within the grip. Although the precision grip has frequently been examined with regard to a variety of motor control problems (e.g. Lawrence & Kuypers, 1968; Long et al., 1970; Brinkman & Kuypers 1973; Smith et al., 1975; Roland, 1978; Passingham et al., 1978; Lemon, 1981; Smith & Bourbonnais, 1981), there have been no quantitative studies concerning this force coordination. Neither has the possible role of the tactile input been considered in this context

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Copyright information

© The Wenner-Gren Center 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. S. Johansson
    • 1
  • G. Westling
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of UmeåUmeåSweden

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