Control of Rapid Arm Movements When Target Position Is Altered During Saccadic Suppression

J Mot Behav. 1995 Jun;27(2):114-122. doi: 10.1080/00222895.1995.9941704.


This experiment examined whether rapid arm movements can be corrected in response to a change in target position that occurs just prior to movement onset, during saccadic suppression of displacement. Because the threshold of retinal input reaches its highest magnitude at that time, displacement of the visual target of a saccade is not perceived. Subjects (N = 6) were instructed to perform very rapid arm movements toward visual targets located 16, 20, and 24 degrees from midline (on average, movement time was 208 ms). On some trials the 20 degrees target was displaced 4 degrees either to the right or to the left during saccadic suppression. For double-step trials, arm movements did not deviate from their original trajectory. Movement endpoints and movement structure (i.e., velocity-and acceleration-time profiles) were similar whether or not target displacements occurred, showing the failure of proprioceptive signals or internal feedback loops to correct the arm trajectory. Following this movement, terminal spatially oriented movements corrected the direction of the initial movement (as compared with the single-step control trials) when the target eccentricity decreased by 4 degrees. Subjects were unaware of these spatial corrections. Therefore, spatial corrections of hand position were driven by the goal level of the task, which was updated by oculomotor corrective responses when a target shift occurred.