Indexed on: 29 Jul '06Published on: 29 Jul '06Published in: Experimental Brain Research
Although locomotion and prehension are commonly coordinated in everyday life, little previous research has focused on this form of coordination. To address this neglected topic, we asked participants to stand a variable distance from a table, walk up to the table, and move an object on the tabletop to a new tabletop position, either to the right or to the left of the object's initial position and near or far from that initial position. For large manual displacements, which required a step after picking up the object, subjects preferred to stand on the foot opposite the direction of forthcoming manual displacement. By contrast, for small manual displacements, which did not require a step after picking up the object, subjects showed no support-leg preference when they grasped the object prior to manual displacement. The support-leg preferences at grasp time were apparently anticipated by participants as they walked up to the table, indicating considerable long-range planning of entire body positions associated with forthcoming object transfers.