Handwriting Kinetics: A Search for Synergies
Hooke, Alexander W.
Shim, Jae Kun
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The purpose of this study was to investigate central nervous system strategies for controlling multi-finger forces in three-dimensional (3-D) space during a circle drawing task. In order to do this the Kinetic Pen, a pen capable of measuring the six-component force and moment of force that each of four individual contacts applies to the pen during writing, was developed. The synergistic actions of the contact forces, defined as kinetic synergy, were investigated in three orthogonal spaces: radial, tangential, and vertical to the circle edge during a circle drawing task. We employed varying directional (clockwise vs. counterclockwise) and pacing (self-paced vs. external-paced) conditions. Results showed that synergies between pen-hand contact forces existed in all components. Radial and tangential component synergies were greater than in the vertical component. Synergies in the clockwise direction were stronger than the counter-clockwise direction in the radial and vertical components. Pace was found to be insignificant in all conditions.