Predictive force programming in the grip-lift task: the role of memory links between arbitrary cues and object weight

Neuropsychologia. 2008;46(9):2383-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.03.011. Epub 2008 Mar 25.


We tested the ability of healthy participants to learn an association between arbitrary sensory cues and the weight of an object to be lifted using a precision grip between the index finger and thumb. Right-handed participants performed a series of grip-lift tasks with each hand. In a first experiment, participants lifted two objects of equal visual appearance which unexpectedly and randomly changed their weight. In two subsequent experiments, the change in object weight was indicated by cues, which were presented (i) visually or (ii) auditorily. When no cue about the weight of the object to be lifted was presented, participants programmed grip force according to the most recent lift, regardless of the hand used. In contrast, participants were able to rapidly establish an association between a particular sensory cue with a given weight and scaled grip force precisely to the actual weight thereafter, regardless of the hand used or the sensory modality of the cue. We discuss our data within the theoretical concept of internal models.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Auditory Perception / physiology
  • Cues*
  • Female
  • Fingers / physiology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Hand / physiology
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lifting*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Neurological
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Movement / physiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Perception / physiology*
  • Weight Perception / physiology
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology
  • Weights and Measures