Purpose. This study aimed at measuring the reaction of the hand when tactile feedback was impaired in upper extremity motor performance in order to empirically evaluate how precision was affected during visually controlled hand and arm movement. Methods. 26 right-handed young male adults were tested with the use of a line tracking task by means of Schuhfried’s Vienna Test System. Tactile feedback during line tracking task was impaired by the use of different gloves: a chirurgical latex glove, a rubber glove and a thick work glove made of soft animal leather. Results. The results found a strong relationship between hand movement accuracy and the degree of tactile impairment; no significant relationship was found between tactile impairment and movement speed. Limiting tactile feedback was found to influence motor task accuracy during local wrist movements (using only the carpal and palm joints), while tasks that allowed global movement (both wrist and forearm) were found to have accuracy influenced only when tactile feedback was highly impaired (line tracking with the thick leather glove). Conclusions. The results have indicated that the role of tactile feedback on accuracy during visually-guided precision movement is far greater than previously reported.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.