Sensorimotor memory of object weight distribution during multidigit grasp

Frederic Albert, Marco Santello, Andrew M. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We studied the ability to transfer three-digit force sharing patterns learned through consecutive lifts of an object with an asymmetric center of mass (CM). After several object lifts, we asked subjects to rotate and translate the object to the contralateral hand and perform one additional lift. This task was performed under two weight conditions (550 and 950 g) to determine the extent to which subjects would be able to transfer weight and CM information. Learning transfer was quantified by measuring the extent to which force sharing patterns and peak object roll on the first post-translation trial resembled those measured on the pre-translation trial with the same CM. We found that the overall gain of fingertip forces was transferred following object rotation, but that the scaling of individual digit forces was specific to the learned digit-object configuration, and thus was not transferred following rotation. As a result, on the first post-translation trial there was a significantly larger object roll following object lift-off than on the pre-translation trial. This suggests that sensorimotor memories for weight, requiring scaling of fingertip force gain, may differ from memories for mass distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-193
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 9 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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