The intermanual transfer of anticipatory force control in precision grip lifting is not influenced by the perception of weight

Exp Brain Res. 2008 Feb;185(2):319-29. doi: 10.1007/s00221-007-1156-0. Epub 2007 Oct 13.


Passing objects from one hand to the other occurs frequently in our daily life. What kind of information about the weight of the object is transferred between the holding and lifting hand? To examine this, we asked people to hold (and heft) an object in one hand and then pick it up with the other. The objects were presented in the context of a size-weight illusion: that is, two objects of different sizes but the same weight were used. One group of participants held one of the objects in their left hand and then picked it up with their right. Another group of participants simply picked up the objects from a table. Thus, the former group had on-line information about the weight of the object, whereas the latter did not. Both groups showed a strong and equivalent size-weight illusion throughout the experiment. At the same time, the group that lifted the objects from the hefting hand applied equal grip force to the small and large object right from the start; in contrast, the group lifting the objects from the table, initially applied more grip force to the large than to the small object before eventually applying the same force to both. In two additional groups, a delay period was imposed between the lifting of the first and the second hands. The force parameters employed by these last two groups were virtually identical to those used by the group that lifted the object directly from the other hand. These results suggest that the initial calibration of grip force uses veridical information about the weight of the object provided by the other hand. This veridical information about weight is available on-line and is retained in memory for later access. The perceived weight of the object is basically ignored in forming grasping forces.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hand / physiology
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lifting*
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Perception / physiology*