On the relation between object shape and grasping kinematics.
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Despite the many studies on the visual control of grasping, little is known about how and when small variations in shape affect grasping kinematics. In the present study we asked subjects to grasp elliptical cylinders that were placed 30 and 60 cm in front of them. The cylinders' aspect ratio was varied systematically between 0.4 and 1.6, and their orientation was varied in steps of 30 degrees. Subjects picked up all noncircular cylinders with a hand orientation that approximately coincided with one of the principal axes. The probability of selecting a given principal axis was the highest when its orientation was equal to the preferred orientation for picking up a circular cylinder at the same location. The maximum grip aperture was scaled to the length of the selected principal axis, but the maximum grip aperture was also larger when the length of the axis orthogonal to the grip axis was longer than that of the grip axis. The correlation between the grip aperture--or the hand orientation--at a given instant, and its final value, increased monotonically with the traversed distance. The final hand orientation could already be inferred from its value after 30% of the movement distance with a reliability that explains 50% of the variance. For the final grip aperture, this was only so after 80% of the movement distance. The results indicate that the perceived shape of the cylinder is used for selecting appropriate grasping locations before or early in the movement and that the grip aperture and orientation are gradually attuned to these locations during the movement.
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
- Time Factors
- Form Perception/*physiology
- Hand Strength/*physiology
- Normal Distribution
- Space Perception/*physiology