Interhemispheric transfer of predictive force control during grasping in cerebellar disorders

Dennis A. Nowak, Andreas Hufnagel, Mitra Ameli, Dagmar Timmann, Joachim Hermsdörfer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

When an object is repeatedly grasped and lifted, the balance between grip force (normal to the object's surface) and lift force (tangential to the object's surface) is programmed according to the mechanical object features within a few lifts. Information related to the mechanical object properties is easily transferred in between both hands, and the cerebellum may play an essential role for the integration and generalization of this information. Recently, we have shown that the transfer of weight-related information in between both hands is impaired in cerebellar degeneration (Nowak et al., Neuropsychologia, 43:20-27, 2005). Here, we investigated the role of the cerebellum for the inter-manual transfer of friction-related information. Healthy subjects and patients with either focal or generalized cerebellar disorders first repeatedly lifted an object with one hand followed by a series of lifts of the same object with the opposite hand. The experiments were performed with the object's grip surfaces covered with either silk or sandpaper. Patients and healthy subjects scaled grip force differentially to surface friction within a few lifts. However, the ability to transfer friction-related information from one hand to the other was disturbed in cerebellar patients. We interpret these data within the recent concept that the cerebellum is essential for the rapid integration and generalization of mechanical object features in between both hemispheres when handling objects in the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-115
Number of pages8
JournalCerebellum
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009

Keywords

  • Grip force
  • Internal model
  • Lift force
  • Predictive force control

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