Multifinger prehension: An overview

Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, Mark L. Latash

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


The authors review the available experimental evidence on what people do when they grasp an object with several digits and then manipulate it. The article includes three parts, each addressing a specific aspect of multifinger prehension. In the first part, the authors discuss manipulation forces (i.e., the resultant force and moment of force exerted on the object) and the digits' contribution to such forces' production. The second part deals with internal forces defined as forces that cancel each other and do not disturb object equilibrium. The authors discuss the role of the internal forces in maintaining the object stability, with respect to such issues as slip prevention, tilt prevention, and resistance to perturbations. The third part is devoted to the motor control of prehension. It covers such topics as prehension synergies, chain effects, the principle of superposition, interfinger connection matrices and reconstruction of neural commands, mechanical advantage of the fingers, and the simultaneous digit adjustment to several mutually reinforcing or conflicting demands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-476
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of motor behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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