Responsible Investigators

PD Dr. Dirk Koester

Neurophysiological bases of preparation
and execution of uni manual grasping

Promotionsproject (CITEC-Project; DFG, German Research Foundation)

Recent research has shown that manual actions, such as grasping, depend on object properties (e.g., size, weigth, texture etc.) but also on cognitive functions (e.g., goals, action purpose, postural comfort etc.). While many investigations have been devoted to sensorimotor processes of manual actions or to behvioural effects, less is known about neurophysiological activation during action planning and execution. The aim of the present project is to differentiate between cerebral activity, by means of event-related potentials (ERPs), and its temporal organization during (uni) manual actions. The results are in line with the ideomotor theory of action control by showing that neural processes underlying action preparation and execution depend on the anticipated action goal and less on the grip specification. Furthermore, this project demonstrates the feasibility of reliably recording ERPs for complex, natural movements, i.e., overt movements do not fundamentally preclude reliable ERP measures.