Human Hand Function

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Oxford University Press, USA, Apr 20, 2006 - Medical - 270 pages
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Human Hand Function is a multidisciplinary book that reviews the sensory and motor aspects of normal hand function from both neurophysiological and behavioral perspectives. Lynette Jones and Susan Lederman present hand function as a continuum ranging from activities that are essentially sensory in nature to those that have a strong motor component. They delineate four categories of function along this sensorimotor continuum--tactile sensing, active haptic sensing, prehension, and non-prehensile skilled movements--that they use as a framework for analyzing and synthesizing the results from a broad range of studies that have contributed to our understanding of how the normal human hand functions.The book begins with a historical overview of research on the hand and a discussion of the hand's evolutionary development in terms of anatomical structure. The subsequent chapters review the research in each of the four categories along the continuum, covering topics such as the intensive spatial, temporal, and thermal sensitivity of the hand, the role of hand movements in recognizing common objects, the control of reaching and grasping movements, and the organization of keyboard skills. Jones and Lederman also examine how sensory and motor function develops in the hand from birth to old age, and how the nature of the end effector (e.g., a single finger or the whole hand) that is used to interact with the environment influences the types of information obtained and the tasks performed. The book closes with an assessment of how basic research on the hand has contributed to an array of more applied domains, including communication systems for the blind, haptic interfaces used in teleoperation and virtual-environment applications, tests used to assess hand impairments, and haptic exploration in art. Human Hand Function will be a valuable resource for student and professional researchers in neuroscience, cognitive psychology, engineering, human-technology interaction, and physiology.

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Historical Overview and General Introduction
Evolutionary Development and Anatomy of the Hand
Neurophysiology of Hand Function
Tactile Sensing
Active Haptic Sensing
Nonprehensile Skilled Movements
Endeffector Constraints
Hand Function Across the Lifespan
Applied Aspects of Hand Function
Summary Conclusions and Future Directions
Author Index
Subject Index

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About the author (2006)

Lynette Jones is a Principal Research Scientist in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her research focuses on a number of areas related to human haptic perception and motor performance. Much of this work is conducted in the context of the design of haptic interfaces that human operators use to interact with computer-generated virtual environments or to control robotic devices. It entails basic research on the human proprioceptive and tactile sensory systems that examines how various feedback systems contribute to perception. Jones' applied research on haptic interfaces involves the development of wearable tactile displays that can be used as navigation aids.

Susan Lederman is Professor of Psychology, with cross-appointments in the Center for Neuroscience and the School of Computing at Queens University in Ontario, Canada. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and holds a Queens University Research Chair. Her research contributions span a wide range of topics pertaining to sensory, perceptual, cognitive, and sensory-guided motor processing. Her particular interests include tactile psychophysics, haptic and multisensory processing of objects, their properties and spatial locations, and in addition, the sensory-guided control of grasping and manipulation. Lederman has also applied the results of her scientific research to a variety of real-world problems, including the design of haptic and multisensory interfaces for virtual environments and teleoperation.

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