Perturbation-induced fast drifts in finger enslaving

Joseph Ricotta, Cristian Cuadra, Jacob S. Evans, Mark L. Latash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We explored changes in finger forces and in an index of unintentional finger force production (enslaving) under a variety of visual feedback conditions and positional finger perturbations. In particular, we tested a hypothesis that enslaving would show a consistent increase with time at characteristic times of about 1–2 s. Young healthy subjects performed accurate force production tasks under visual feedback on the total force of the instructed fingers (index and ring) or enslaved fingers (middle and little). Finger feedback was covertly alternated between master and enslaved fingers in a random fashion. The feedback could be presented over the first 5 s of the trial only or over the whole trial duration (21 s). After 5 s, the fingers were lifted by 1 cm, and after 15 s, the fingers were lowered to the initial position. The force of the instructed fingers drifted toward lower magnitudes in all conditions except the one with continuous feedback on that force. The force of enslaved fingers showed variable behavior across conditions. In all conditions, the index of enslaving showed a consistent increase with the time constant varying between 1 and 3 s. We interpret the results as pointing at the spread of excitation to enslaved fingers (possibly, in the cortical M1 areas). The relatively fast changes in enslaving under positional finger perturbations suggest that quick changes of the input into M1 from pre-M1 areas can accelerate the hypothesized spread of cortical excitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-902
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


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