Force control in object manipulation—A model for the study of sensorimotor control strategies

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The control of prehensile finger forces when grasping and lifting an object is a well-established model to study sensorimotor and cognitive control processes of the human sensorimotor system. The simple task of grasping and lifting objects in the environment is orchestrated by a complex interplay between multiple sensorimotor systems to signal, analyze and process the mechanical interactions and constraints between body and object. These processes involve internal action plans, integration of visual, haptic and other sensory information about both body and object, sensorimotor predictions, as well as fast reactive adaptations based on experienced sensory events at various levels of complexity. This review briefly summarizes predictive and reactive control strategies of grip and lift force control, current concepts of internal models for predictive force control and recent controversies of the internal model theory in object manipulation.

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