Prehension synergies: Trial-to-trial variability and hierarchical organization of stable performance

Jae K. Shim, Mark L. Latash, Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


We studied multi-digit synergies as relations among digit forces and points of their application across multiple repetitions of a static prehensile task. The task required holding a grasped object (14.9 N) against different external torques. Subjects (n=6) performed 25 trials for each torque condition: -1.0, -0.5, 0, +0.5 and +1.0 Nm. In spite of the variability of individual forces and points of their application, stable performance was achieved. Individual performance variables were organized into two subsets. Variables within each subset highly correlated with each other (the coefficients of correlation were close to ±1.0) while there was no correlation among variables from different subsets. The two subsets were associated with two components of the prehension task: grasp control (preventing an object from slipping out of the hand) and torque control (maintaining a desired object orientation).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-184
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


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