Hand selection for object grasping is influenced by recent motor history

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Action selection processes such as those that underlie decisions about which hand to use for upcoming actions are fundamental to adaptive motor behavior. Previous research has shown that people grasp objects in ways that reflect anticipated task demands, as well as recent movement experience. However, very few studies have addressed the possible influence of recent motor history on hand selection. In the present study, participants grasped and placed objects using either their left or right hand. The results showed shorter response times to initiate successive actions when hand was repeated, even when those actions involved distinct grasp postures and object placement movements to distinct locations. Conversely, no such planning advantage was observed for repeated grasps for successive actions made with opposite hands. The findings are consistent with the idea that choices about which hand to use in the present are influenced by which hand was used in the recent past. When the same hand can be used for successive actions, planning is made more efficient, presumably because the motor parameters that specify which hand to use can be recalled from recent memory rather than formulated anew. The findings indicate that hand selection is sensitive to recent movement experience and provide novel support for computational efficiency accounts of motor history effects
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-573
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Volume21
Early online date28 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
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