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Pantomime-grasping is a "simulated" motor response wherein an individual grasps to an area dissociated from a physical target. The task has been used in the apraxia literature as a proxy for natural grasping (i.e., physically grasping a target); however, it is important to recognize that the task's decoupled spatial relations between stimulus and response renders the top-down processing of target features (e.g., size) that accumulating evidence has shown to be mediated by visual information functionally distinct from natural grasping. Here, we examined whether the visual information supporting pantomime-grasps exhibits a visual resolution power commensurate with natural grasps. Participants were presented with a target and nontarget that differed in size below the perceptual threshold (i.e., 0.5 mm or ∼1.3%) and were asked to make a perceptual judgment about the target (i.e., "smaller" or "larger" than the nontarget) before and after completing natural and pantomime-grasps. Results showed that perceptual judgments "before" and "after" natural and pantomime-grasps did not reliably distinguish between target and nontarget. Natural grasp peak grip apertures (PGAs) scaled to target size and were comparable for "before" and "after" perceptual judgment trials-a result indicating that haptic feedback from physically grasping the target did not "boost" perceptual accuracy. Most notably, pantomime-grasp PGAs were insensitive to target size; that is, responses elicited a visual resolution power less than natural grasps. These results provide convergent evidence that pantomime-grasps are mediated by the same visual information as obligatory perceptions and do not provide a proxy for natural grasps. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

Original publication




Journal article


Can J Exp Psychol

Publication Date





22 - 28


Feedback, Sensory, Hand Strength, Humans, Psychomotor Performance, Visual Perception