Immediate tool incorporation processes determine human motor planning with tools

G. Ganesh, T. Yoshioka, R. Osu, T. Ikegami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Human dexterity with tools is believed to stem from our ability to incorporate and use tools as parts of our body. However tool incorporation, evident as extensions in our body representation and peri-personal space, has been observed predominantly after extended tool exposures and does not explain our immediate motor behaviours when we change tools. Here we utilize two novel experiments to elucidate the presence of additional immediate tool incorporation effects that determine motor planning with tools. Interestingly, tools were observed to immediately induce a trial-by-trial, tool length dependent shortening of the perceived limb lengths, opposite to observations of elongations after extended tool use. Our results thus exhibit that tools induce a dual effect on our body representation; an immediate shortening that critically affects motor planning with a new tool, and the slow elongation, probably a consequence of skill related changes in sensory-motor mappings with the repeated use of the tool.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4524
Pages (from-to)4524
Number of pages1
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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