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Kutz, Dieter F.; Schmid, Barbara C.; Meindl, Tobias; Timmann, Dagmar and Kolb, Florian P. (2016): Contribution of the Cerebellumin Cue-Dependent Force Changes During an Isometric Precision Grip Task. In: Cerebellum, Vol. 15, No. 4: pp. 439-450

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Abstract

The "raspberry task" represents a precision grip task that requires continuous adjustment of grip forces and pull forces. During this task, subjects use a specialised grip rod and have to increase the pull force linearly while the rod is locked. The positions of the fingers are unrestrained and freely selectable. From the finger positions and the geometry of the grip rod, a physical lever was derived which is a comprehensive measurement of the subject's grip behaviour. In this study, the involvement of the cerebellum in establishing cued force changes (CFC) was examined. The auditory stimulus was associated with a motor behaviour that has to be readjusted during an ongoing movement that already started. Moreover, cerebellar involvement on grip behaviour was examined. The results show that patients presenting with degenerating cerebellar disease (CBL) were able to elicit CFC and were additionally able to optimise grip behaviour by minimising the lever. Comparison of the results of CBL with a control group of healthy subjects showed, however, that the CFC incidence was significantly lower and the reduction of the lever was less in CBL. Hence, the cerebellum is involved not only in the classical conditioning of reflexes but also in the association of sensory stimuli with complex changes in motor behaviour. Furthermore, the cerebellum is involved in the optimisation of grip behaviour during ongoing movements. Recent studies lead to the assumption that the cerebello-reticulo-spinal pathway might be important for the reduced optimisation of grip behaviour in CBL.

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