Eye-hand coordination during visuomotor adaptation with different rotation angles

PLoS One. 2014 Oct 15;9(10):e109819. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0109819. eCollection 2014.


This study examined adaptive changes of eye-hand coordination during a visuomotor rotation task. Young adults made aiming movements to targets on a horizontal plane, while looking at the rotated feedback (cursor) of hand movements on a monitor. To vary the task difficulty, three rotation angles (30°, 75°, and 150°) were tested in three groups. All groups shortened hand movement time and trajectory length with practice. However, control strategies used were different among groups. The 30° group used proportionately more implicit adjustments of hand movements than other groups. The 75° group used more on-line feedback control, whereas the 150° group used explicit strategic adjustments. Regarding eye-hand coordination, timing of gaze shift to the target was gradually changed with practice from the late to early phase of hand movements in all groups, indicating an emerging gaze-anchoring behavior. Gaze locations prior to the gaze anchoring were also modified with practice from the cursor vicinity to an area between the starting position and the target. Reflecting various task difficulties, these changes occurred fastest in the 30° group, followed by the 75° group. The 150° group persisted in gazing at the cursor vicinity. These results suggest that the function of gaze control during visuomotor adaptation changes from a reactive control for exploring the relation between cursor and hand movements to a predictive control for guiding the hand to the task goal. That gaze-anchoring behavior emerged in all groups despite various control strategies indicates a generality of this adaptive pattern for eye-hand coordination in goal-directed actions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Eye Movements / physiology
  • Feedback, Sensory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Hand / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Rotation
  • Visual Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult

Grants and funding

This research was supported by grant Ra 2183/1-1 of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), http://www.dfg.de/en. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.