Visuospatial updating of reaching targets in near and far space

Neuroreport. 2002 Apr 16;13(5):633-6. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200204160-00019.


The brain constructs multiple representations of near and far space but it is unclear which spatial mechanism guides reaching across eye movements in near space. Retinocentric reaching representations are known to exist in parietal cortex, but must be updated during eye movements, in order to remain accurate. In contrast, non-retinal (e.g. muscle-centered) reaching plans in motor cortex do not require updating, and so may provide a more stable encoding mechanism. To test between these, we employed a behavioral test. Subjects briefly foveated a target (located at various depths in near and far space) looked peripherally, then reached toward its remembered location. Surprisingly, subjects did not use the stable non-retinal reaching plan (compared to controls without eye movements). Instead, the intervening eye movements induced a systematic pattern of reaching errors for targets at all depths consistent with updating in a retinal frame. We conclude that a common eye-centered updating mechanism prevails in programming arm movements in both near and far space.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arm
  • Distance Perception / physiology*
  • Eye Movements / physiology
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology