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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e60509. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060509. Epub 2013 Mar 27.

The force synergy of human digits in static and dynamic cylindrical grasps.

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  • 1Department of Occupational Therapy, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.

Abstract

This study explores the force synergy of human digits in both static and dynamic cylindrical grasping conditions. The patterns of digit force distribution, error compensation, and the relationships among digit forces are examined to quantify the synergetic patterns and coordination of multi-finger movements. This study recruited 24 healthy participants to perform cylindrical grasps using a glass simulator under normal grasping and one-finger restricted conditions. Parameters such as the grasping force, patterns of digit force distribution, and the force coefficient of variation are determined. Correlation coefficients and principal component analysis (PCA) are used to estimate the synergy strength under the dynamic grasping condition. Specific distribution patterns of digit forces are identified for various conditions. The compensation of adjacent fingers for the force in the normal direction of an absent finger agrees with the principle of error compensation. For digit forces in anti-gravity directions, the distribution patterns vary significantly by participant. The forces exerted by the thumb are closely related to those exerted by other fingers under all conditions. The index-middle and middle-ring finger pairs demonstrate a significant relationship. The PCA results show that the normal forces of digits are highly coordinated. This study reveals that normal force synergy exists under both static and dynamic cylindrical grasping conditions.

PMID:
23544151
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3609754
Free PMC Article
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