Finger synergies during multi-finger cyclic production of moment of force

Wei Zhang, Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, Mark L. Latash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We investigated multi-finger synergies stabilizing the total moment of force and the total force when the subjects produced a quick cyclic change in the total moment of force. The seated subjects performed the task with the fingers of the dominant arm while paced by the metronome at 1.33 Hz. They were required to produce a rhythmic, sine-like change in the total pronation-supination moment of force computed with respect to the midpoint between the middle and ring fingers. The framework of the uncontrolled manifold hypothesis was used to compute indices of stabilization of the total moment and of the total force across 20 cycles. Variance of the total moment showed a cyclic pattern with peaks close to the peak rate of the moment change. Variance of the total force was maximal close to peak moment into supination. Higher magnitudes of the moment directed against the required moment direction (antagonist moment) were produced by individual fingers during supination efforts as compared to pronation efforts. Indices of multi-finger synergies showed across-trials stabilization of the total moment over the whole cycle but not of the total force. These indices were smaller during supination efforts. We conclude that the central nervous system facilitates multi-finger synergies stabilizing the total rotational action across a variety of tasks. Synergies stabilizing the total force are not seen in tasks that do not explicitly require accurate force control. Pronation efforts are performed more efficiently and with better stabilization of the action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-254
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


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