The latency for correcting a movement depends on the visual attribute that defines the target

Exp Brain Res. 2008 May;187(2):219-28. doi: 10.1007/s00221-008-1296-x. Epub 2008 Feb 7.


Neurons in different cortical visual areas respond to different visual attributes with different latencies. How does this affect the on-line control of our actions? We studied hand movements directed toward targets that could be distinguished from other objects by luminance, size, orientation, color, shape or texture. In some trials, the target changed places with one of the other objects at the onset of the hand's movement. We determined the latency for correcting the movement of the hand in the direction of the new target location. We show that subjects can correct their movements at short latency for all attributes, but that responses for the attributes color, form and texture (that are relevant for recognizing the object) are 50 ms slower than for the attributes luminance, orientation and size. This dichotomy corresponds to both to the distinction between magno-cellular and parvo-cellular pathways and to a dorsal-ventral distinction. The latency also differed systematically between subjects, independent of their reaction time.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Orientation / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology*