Co-Registering Kinematics and Evoked Related Potentials during Visually Guided Reach-to-Grasp Movements

Vincenza Tarantino, Chiara Begliomini, Vincenza Tarantino, Teresa De Sanctis, Elisa Straulino, Umberto Castiello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background:In non-human primates grasp-related sensorimotor transformations are accomplished in a circuit involving the anterior intraparietal sulcus (area AIP) and both the ventral and the dorsal sectors of the premotor cortex (vPMC and dPMC, respectively). Although a human homologue of such a circuit has been identified, the time course of activation of these cortical areas and how such activity relates to specific kinematic events has yet to be investigated.Methodology/Principal Findings:We combined kinematic and event-related potential techniques to explicitly test how activity within human grasping-related brain areas is modulated in time. Subjects were requested to reach towards and grasp either a small stimulus using a precision grip (i.e., the opposition of index finger and thumb) or a large stimulus using a whole hand grasp (i.e., the flexion of all digits around the stimulus). Results revealed a time course of activation starting at the level of parietal regions and continuing at the level of premotor regions. More specifically, we show that activity within these regions was tuned for specific grasps well before movement onset and this early tuning was carried over - as evidenced by kinematic analysis - during the preshaping period of the task.Conclusions/Significance:Data are discussed in terms of recent findings showing a marked differentiation across different grasps during premovement phases which was carried over into subsequent movement phases. These findings offer a substantial contribution to the current debate about the nature of the sensorimotor transformations underlying grasping. And provide new insights into the detailed movement information contained in the human preparatory activity for specific hand movements. © 2013 De Sanctis et al.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages0
JournalPLoS One
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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