The effects of digital anaesthesia on predictive grip force adjustments during vertical movements of a grasped object

Eur J Neurosci. 2001 Aug;14(4):756-62. doi: 10.1046/j.0953-816x.2001.01697.x.


Grip force adjustments to fluctuations of inertial loads induced by vertical arm movements with a grasped object were analysed during normal and impaired finger sensibility. Normally grip force is modulated in a highly economical way in parallel with fluctuations of load force. Two subjects performed vertical up and down movements of a grasped object, both with normal finger sensibility and then cutaneously anaesthetized finger sensibility. Short breaks were taken in between single movements, during which the object was held stationary. After digital anaesthesia was applied to the grasping fingers, both subjects substantially increased the grip force. The grip force amplitude and timing still anticipated changes in load force, although the established grip force had already overcome movement-induced load force peaks. This implies that the increase of grip force and consequently the elevated force ratio between maximum grip and maximum load force are not processed to alter the feedforward system of grip force control. Cutaneous afferent information from the grasping digits appears to be necessary for economic scaling of the grip force level, but it plays a subordinate role in the precise anticipatory temporal coupling of grip and load forces during voluntary object manipulation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthetics, Local / pharmacology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Feedback / drug effects*
  • Feedback / physiology
  • Fingers / innervation*
  • Fingers / physiology
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mechanoreceptors / drug effects
  • Mechanoreceptors / physiology
  • Movement / drug effects*
  • Movement / physiology
  • Peripheral Nerves / drug effects
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Reaction Time / drug effects
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Touch / drug effects*
  • Touch / physiology
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology


  • Anesthetics, Local