Force matching: motor effects that are not reported by the actor

Michał Pawłowski, Joseph M. Ricotta, Sayan D. De, Mark L. Latash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We explored unintentional drifts of finger forces during force production and matching task. Based on earlier studies, we predicted that force matching with the other hand would reduce or stop the force drift in instructed fingers while uninstructed (enslaved) fingers remain unaffected. Twelve young, healthy, right-handed participants performed two types of tasks with both hands (task hand and match hand). The task hand produced constant force at 20% of MVC level with the Index and Ring fingers pressing in parallel on strain gauge force sensors. The Middle finger force wasn’t instructed, and its enslaved force was recorded. Visual feedback on the total force by the instructed fingers was either present throughout the trial or only during the first 5 s (no-feedback condition). The other hand matched the perceived force level of the task hand starting at either 4, 8, or 15 s from the trial initiation. No feedback was ever provided for the match hand force. After the visual feedback was removed, the task hand showed a consistent drift to lower magnitudes of total force. Contrary to our prediction, over all conditions, force matching caused a brief acceleration of force drift in the task hand, which then reached a plateau. There was no effect of matching on drifts in enslaved finger force. We interpret the force drifts within the theory of control with spatial referent coordinates as consequences of drifts in the command (referent coordinate) to the antagonist muscles. This command is not adequately incorporated into force perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1439-1453
Number of pages15
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience

Cite this