Mar 30, 2020

A test of the mechanical advantage hypothesis during artificial reduction in thumb contribution to hold objects

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
B. Rajakumar, Varadhan SKM

Abstract

Background: Human hand plays a crucial role in accomplishing activities of daily living. In the human hand, the thumb has a critical role in grasp coordination. Without the thumb, it is not possible to hold an object stable. In this study, we investigated the nature of changes in fingertip forces in a multi-finger prehension task when the thumb rested on an unstable platform. We tested whether the mechanical advantage hypothesis holds true during the artificial reduction in thumb contribution to hold objects. We also computed the safety margin of the individual fingers and thumb. Methodology: Fifteen participants used five-finger prismatic precision grip to hold a custom-built handle with a vertical railing on the thumb side. A slider platform was placed on the railing such that the thumb sensor could move on either side in the vertical direction. There were two conditions. In the Fixed condition, the slider was mechanically fixed, and hence the thumb sensor could not move. In the Free condition, the slider platform on which the thumb was placed was made freely movable. In both conditions, the instruction was to grasp and hold the handle (and the platform) in static equilibrium. Tangential and normal forces were recorded from a...Continue Reading

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