Proprioception Is Robust under External ForcesReport as inadecuate

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Information from cutaneous, muscle and joint receptors is combined with efferent information to create a reliable percept of the configuration of our body proprioception. We exposed the hand to several horizontal force fields to examine whether external forces influence this percept. In an end-point task subjects reached visually presented positions with their unseen hand. In a vector reproduction task, subjects had to judge a distance and direction visually and reproduce the corresponding vector by moving the unseen hand. We found systematic individual errors in the reproduction of the end-points and vectors, but these errors did not vary systematically with the force fields. This suggests that human proprioception accounts for external forces applied to the hand when sensing the position of the hand in the horizontal plane.

Author: Irene A. Kuling , Eli Brenner, Jeroen B. J. Smeets



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