glove data healthy subjects
Aim of this study was the description of finger movements in right-handed subjects during tactile exploration of a cuboid, a prototypical task of precise handling. The data consists of the time series of 29 sensors integrated in a glove for each hand of 22 subjects. Of the sensors, 16 recorded the bending of metacarpo-phalangeal (MCP) and proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints of the fingers, MCP and (interphalangeal) IP joint of the thumb, palm arch and carpo-metacarpal (CMC) joint of the thumb, and abduction between fingers. Using principle component analysis we were able to segregate a short action into motor patterns related to successive manipulations of the object. The fraction of variance described by the principal components indicated that salient features of the single motor acts could be described for each hand by three components. Striking in the finger patterns are the prominent and varying roles of MCP and PIP joints of the fingers, and CMC joint of the thumb. An important aspect of the three components is their representation of distinct finger configurations within the same motor act. Analysis of the individual finger time series confirms synchrony during the task and graph analysis establishes high global efficiency of the network of interrelated finger joints. The computation of finger trajectories in one subject exemplifies the workspace of the task, which differs in the right and left hand. The study substantiates finger gaiting as principal mechanism underlying this prototypical task, ubiquitous in daily object shape recognition but described until now only in artificial systems.