We explored the phenomenon of unintentional finger force drift by using visual feedback on the force produced either by explicitly instructed (master) finger pairs or by non-instructed (enslaved) finger pairs. In particular, we drew contrasting predictions from two hypotheses: that force drifts represented consequences of drifts in effector referent coordinates at the level of individual fingers vs. at the level of finger modes (hypothetical variables accounting for the finger force interdependence). Subjects performed accurate force production with two fingers of a hand, index-ring or middle-little. They received visual feedback on the force produced either by the master fingers or by the other two, enslaved, fingers. The feedback scale was adjusted to ensure that the subjects did not know the difference between these two, randomly presented, conditions. Under feedback on the master finger force, enslaved force showed a consistent drift upward. Under feedback on the enslaved finger force, master force showed a consistent drift downward. The subjects were unaware of the force drifts, which could reach over 35% of the initial force magnitude. The data support the hypothesis on drifts in the referent coordinate at the level of individual digits, not finger modes, as the origin of unintentional force drifts. The consistent increase in the relative amount of force produced by the enslaved fingers suggests that the commonly used methods to quantify enslaving should include relatively brief force production tasks.
- Finger mode
- Force drift
- Referent coordinate
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology