Reach-to-grasp movements: A multimodal techniques study

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The aim of the present study was to investigate the correlation between corticospinal activity, kinematics, and electromyography (EMG) associated with the execution of precision and whole-hand grasps (WHGs). To this end, motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), EMG, and 3-D motion capture data have been simultaneously recorded during the planning and the execution of prehensile actions toward either a small or a large object. Differences in the considered measures were expected to distinguish between the two types of grasping actions both in terms of action preparation and execution. The results indicate that the index finger (FDI) and the little finger (ADM) muscles showed different activation patterns during grasping execution, but only the FDI appeared to distinguish between the two types of actions during motor preparation. Kinematics analysis showed that precision grips differed from WHGs in terms of displayed fingers distance when shaping before object's contact, and in terms of timing and velocity patterns. Moreover, significant correlations suggest a relationship between the muscular activation and the temporal aspects concerned with the index finger's extension during whole-hand actions. Overall, the present data seem to suggest a crucial role played by index finger as an early "marker" of differential motor preparation for different types of grasps and as a "navigator" in guiding whole-hand prehensile actions. Aside from the novelty of the methodological approach characterizing the present study, the data provide new insights regarding the level of crosstalk among different levels concerned with the neuro-behavioral organization of reach-to-grasp movements.




Betti, S., Zani, G., Guerra, S., Castiello, U., & Sartori, L. (2018). Reach-to-grasp movements: A multimodal techniques study. Frontiers in Psychology, 9(JUN).

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