To Know Your Own Strength: Overriding Natural Force Attenuation

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active and passive touch, force attenuation, habituation, learning, perception and psychophysics, performance

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The human sensorimotor system is thought to attenuate the perception of self-generated forces, which causes people to generate a larger force so the perception of their exerted force matches their intention . The purpose of this study is to understand the nature of force attenuation, to determine if the natural tendency to underestimate self-generated forces can be retrained, and to ascertain if humans can learn to more accurately recreate forces. To test this hypothesis, forces were applied to one hand and each participant was asked to recreate those forces on his/her other hand. The back and forth force exchange generated the expected force escalation in individuals. Participants were then given feedback about the accuracy of their recreated forces during a training phase. Before training, no participants had their average force in the correct range, but 86 percent of participants had their average force in the correct range when tested the following day. The participants also increased the consistency of their force recreation after training.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

IEEE Transactions on Haptics, v. 7, issue 2, p. 264-269