The precision of the human hand: variability in pinch strength and manual dexterity

Bardo, A., Town, K., Kivell, T.L., Donati, G., Ballieux, H., Stamate, C., Edington, T. and Forrester, G.S. 2022. The precision of the human hand: variability in pinch strength and manual dexterity . Symmetry. 14 (1), pp. 1-21. https://doi.org/10.3390/sym14010071

TitleThe precision of the human hand: variability in pinch strength and manual dexterity
TypeJournal article
AuthorsBardo, A., Town, K., Kivell, T.L., Donati, G., Ballieux, H., Stamate, C., Edington, T. and Forrester, G.S.
Abstract

Changes in hand morphology throughout human evolution have facilitated the use of forceful pad-to-pad precision grips, contributing to the development of fine motor movement and dexter-ous manipulation typical of modern humans. Today, variation in human hand function may be affected by demographic and/or lifestyle factors, but these remain largely unexplored. We meas-ured pinch grip strength and dexterity in a heterogeneous cross-sectional sample of human par-ticipants (n = 556) to test for the potential effects of sex, age, hand asymmetries, hand morphology, and frequently-practiced manual activities across the lifespan. We found a significant effect of sex on pinch strength, dexterity, and different directional asymmetries, with practice of manual mu-sical instruments significantly increasing female dexterity for both hands. Males and females with wider hands were also stronger, but not more precise, than those with longer hands, while thumb-index ratio had no effect. Hand dominance asymmetry further had a significant effect on dexterity but not on pinch strength. These results indicate that different patterns of hand asym-metries and hand function are influenced in part by life experiences, improving our understand-ing of the link between hand form and function and offering a referential context for interpreting the evolution of human dexterity.

Keywordshand asymmetries
functional morphology
hand size
hand shape
pinch grip
performance
peg-board task
JournalSymmetry
Journal citation14 (1), pp. 1-21
ISSN2073-8994
Year2022
PublisherMDPI
Publisher's version
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/sym14010071
Publication dates
Published04 Jan 2022

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