When manipulating objects, we use kinesthetic and tactile information to form an internal representation of their mechanical properties for cognitive perception and for preventing their slippage using predictive control of grip force. A major challenge in understanding the dissociable contributions of tactile and kinesthetic information to perception and action is the natural coupling between them. Unlike previous studies that addressed this question either by focusing on impaired sensory processing in patients or using local anesthesia, we used a behavioral study with a programmable mechatronic device that stretches the skin of the fingertips to address this issue in the intact sensorimotor system. We found that artificial skin-stretch increases the predictive grip force modulation in anticipation of the load force. Moreover, the stretch causes an immediate illusion of touching a harder object that does not depend on the gradual development of the predictive modulation of grip force.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- !!General Immunology and Microbiology
- !!General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- !!General Neuroscience