chapter  8
12 Pages

Planning and control of object grasping: kinematics of hand pre-shaping, contact and manipulation

ByJamie R. Lukos, Caterina Ansuini, Umberto Castiello, Marco Santello

The hand is a uniquely complex sensory and motor structure of fundamental importance to our motor behaviour, whether it is used for artistic expression and communication, tool making and use, or perception. To address the seemingly simple question of: ‘How does the central nervous system (CNS) control the hand?’ requires understanding of its biomechanical structure and neural mechanisms. The complex nature of such organization has prompted scientists over the past three decades to use a wide range of multi-disciplinary approaches – on human and non-human primates – to unravel the intricate mechanisms underlying hand function, ranging from recording from motor and sensory cortical neurons to recording the activity of motor units of hand muscles, from imaging neural activity of the brain during object grasping to measuring the movement and force coordination patterns of the digits.