Transfer and generalization of learned manipulation between unimanual and bimanual tasks

Trevor Lee-Miller, Marco Santello, Andrew M. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Successful object manipulation, such as preventing object roll, relies on the modulation of forces and centers of pressure (point of application of digits on each grasp surface) prior to lift onset to generate a compensatory torque. Whether or not generalization of learned manipulation can occur after adding or removing effectors is not known. We examined this by recruiting participants to perform lifts in unimanual and bimanual grasps and analyzed results before and after transfer. Our results show partial generalization of learned manipulation occurred when switching from a (1) unimanual to bimanual grasp regardless of object center of mass, and (2) bimanual to unimanual grasp when the center of mass was on the thumb side. Partial generalization was driven by the modulation of effectors’ center of pressure, in the appropriate direction but of insufficient magnitude, while load forces did not contribute to torque generation after transfer. In addition, we show that the combination of effector forces and centers of pressure in the generation of compensatory torque differ between unimanual and bimanual grasping. These findings highlight that (1) high-level representations of learned manipulation enable only partial learning transfer when adding or removing effectors, and (2) such partial generalization is mainly driven by modulation of effectors’ center of pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8688
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Transfer and generalization of learned manipulation between unimanual and bimanual tasks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this