The Influence of Light Hypothenar Contact during a Reaching Movement on the Centre of Pressure (COP) Forward Displacement

Rugelj, Darja; Trontelj, Jože V.; Strojnik, Vojko
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of additional light hand contact (F<1 N) in the region of the hypothenar eminence on forward movement of the center of pressure (COP) and dominant hand. Subjects sled their hypothenar eminence on a vertically-oriented pressure sensitive board while reaching forward beyond their arm length. In the two separate experiments forty nine healthy, college-aged volunteers participated in the study. Thirty subjects (mean age of 22.2±2.4 years, 6 male and 24 female) participated in the experiment on level ground and nineteen subjects (22±2.6 years, 5 male and 14 female) in the experiment on an elevated surface. The forward displacement of the COP was significantly larger (p = 0.002) when subjects were allowed to slide with the hand as compared to no contact when the activity occurred on level ground (84±10 mm and 79±11 mm, respectively), and on a one meter elevated surface (71±17 mm and 65±21 mm, respectively). The maximal forward reach of the dominant hand was significantly greater when subjects were allowed to slide with the hypothenar eminence as compared to the no contact condition on the level ground (336±35 mm and 344±38 mm, respectively, p<0.02), and on the one meter elevated surface (298±58 mm and 307±58 mm, respectively, p<0.01). This data indicate that subjects were able to use additional haptic information from the hypothenar region to bring their COP and dominant hand further forward while standing on level ground as well as on a one m elevated surface.


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