Although locomotion and prehension are commonly coordinated in everyday life, little previous research has focused on this form of coordination. To address this neglected topic, we asked participants to stand a variable distance from a table, walk up to the table, and move an object on the tabletop to a new tabletop position, either to the right or to the left of the object's initial position and near or far from that initial position. For large manual displacements, which required a step after picking up the object, subjects preferred to stand on the foot opposite the direction of forthcoming manual displacement. By contrast, for small manual displacements, which did not require a step after picking up the object, subjects showed no support-leg preference when they grasped the object prior to manual displacement. The support-leg preferences at grasp time were apparently anticipated by participants as they walked up to the table, indicating considerable long-range planning of entire body positions associated with forthcoming object transfers.
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