Stronger handgrip force with larger visual stimulus: Compatibility between perceptual size and power production

[Speaker] Nagai, Masayoshi:1
[Co-author] Yamada, Yohei:2, Kanaya, Hidetoshi:3, Kawakami, Naoaki:4,5, Nishizaki, Yukiko:6
1:Ritsumeikan University (Japan), 2:Nara University of Education (Japan), 3:Aichi Shukutoku University (United States of America), 4:New York University (Japan), 5:JSPS Research Fellow (Japan), 6:Kyoto Institute of Technology (Japan)

Previous research has shown that the attributes of a stimulus influence the response force in the stimulus-response compatibility paradigm (Romaiguère et. al., 1993). This study investigated whether the handgrip force exerted by participants was influenced by the size of a visual stimulus. Each trial presented a small or large circle or none at all. The participants' task was to squeeze a handgrip at a pre-learned level (50% of maximum handgrip force) when a circle appeared. Results showed that participants exerted stronger force in response to the large stimulus relative to the small one, but only with their non-dominant hand. In addition, the same trend was seen using images of people implying strength versus weakness (a wrestler versus a baby). These findings suggest that information regarding stimulus size and power are shared between perceptual/cognitive and motor production systems. Finally, precise force control with the dominant hand may obscure the effect.
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