Long-Latency Feedback Coordinates Upper-Limb and Hand Muscles during Object Manipulation Tasks

eNeuro. 2016 Mar 10;3(1):ENEURO.0129-15.2016. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0129-15.2016. eCollection Jan-Feb 2016.


Suppose that someone bumps into your arm at a party while you are holding a glass of wine. Motion of the disturbed arm will engage rapid and goal-directed feedback responses in the upper-limb. Although such responses can rapidly counter the perturbation, it is also clearly desirable not to destabilize your grasp and/or spill the wine. Here we investigated how healthy humans maintain a stable grasp following perturbations by using a paradigm that requires spatial tuning of the motor response dependent on the location of a virtual target. Our results highlight a synchronized expression of target-directed feedback in shoulder and hand muscles occurring at ∼60 ms. Considering that conduction delays are longer for the more distal hand muscles, these results suggest that target-directed responses in hand muscles were initiated before those for the shoulder muscles. These results show that long-latency feedback can coordinate upper limb and hand muscles during object manipulation tasks.

Keywords: feedback control; grip force control; motor prediction; object manipulation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Electromyography
  • Feedback, Sensory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Goals
  • Hand / innervation
  • Hand / physiology
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / innervation
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Upper Extremity / innervation
  • Upper Extremity / physiology*
  • Young Adult