The influence of visual target information on the online control of movements

Vision Res. 2015 May;110(Pt B):144-54. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2014.07.001. Epub 2014 Jul 16.


The continuously changing properties of our environment require constant monitoring of our actions and updating of our motor commands based on the task goals. Such updating relies upon our predictions about the sensory consequences of our movement commands, as well as sensory feedback received during movement execution. Here we focus on how visual information about target location is used to update and guide ongoing actions so that the task goal is successfully achieved. We review several studies that have manipulated vision of the target in a variety of ways, ranging from complete removal of visual target information to changes in visual target properties after movement onset to examine how such changes are accounted for during motor execution. We also examined the specific role of a critical neural structure, the parietal cortex, and argue that a fundamental challenge for the future is to understand how visual information about target location is integrated with other streams of information, during movement execution, to estimate the state of the body and the environment in order to ensure optimal motor performance.

Keywords: Continuous monitoring; Goal-directed arm reaching movements; Human motor behavior; Motor control; Sensory feedback.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arm
  • Feedback, Sensory / physiology
  • Humans
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Optical Illusions
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*