Oculo-manual coordination control: ocular and manual tracking of visual targets with delayed visual feedback of the hand motion

Exp Brain Res. 1992;90(3):599-609. doi: 10.1007/BF00230944.


The aim of this study was to examine coordination control in eye and hand tracking of visual targets. We studied eye tracking of a self-moved target, and simultaneous eye and hand tracking of an external visual target moving horizontally on a screen. Predictive features of eye-hand coordination control were studied by introducing a delay (0 to 450 ms) between the Subject's (S's) hand motion and the motion of the hand-driven target on the screen. In self-moved target tracking with artificial delay, the eyes started to move in response to arm movement while the visual target was still motionless, that is before any retinal slip had been produced. The signal likely to trigger smooth pursuit in that condition must be derived from non-visual information. Candidates are efference copy and afferent signals from arm motion. When tracking an external target with the eyes and the hand, in a condition where a delay was introduced in the visual feedback loop of the hand, the Ss anticipated with the arm the movement of the target in order to compensate the delay. After a short tracking period, Ss were able to track with a low lag, or eventually to create a lead between the hand and the target. This was observed if the delay was less than 250-300 ms. For larger delays, the hand lagged the target by 250-300 ms. Ss did not completely compensate the delay and did not, on the average, correct for sudden changes in movement of the target (at the direction reversal of the trajectory). Conversely, in the whole range of studied delays (0-450 ms), the eyes were always in phase with the visual target (except during the first part of the first cycle of the movement, as seen previously). These findings are discussed in relation to a scheme in which both predictive (dynamic nature of the motion) and coordination (eye and hand movement system interactive signals) controls are included.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Eye Movements
  • Feedback
  • Hand*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Movement
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Perception*