Interactions between dorsal and ventral streams for controlling skilled grasp

Neuropsychologia. 2015 Dec;79(Pt B):186-91. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.07.010. Epub 2015 Jul 11.


The two visual systems hypothesis suggests processing of visual information into two distinct routes in the brain: a dorsal stream for the control of actions and a ventral stream for the identification of objects. Recently, increasing evidence has shown that the dorsal and ventral streams are not strictly independent, but do interact with each other. In this paper, we argue that the interactions between dorsal and ventral streams are important for controlling complex object-oriented hand movements, especially skilled grasp. Anatomical studies have reported the existence of direct connections between dorsal and ventral stream areas. These physiological interconnections appear to be gradually more active as the precision demands of the grasp become higher. It is hypothesised that the dorsal stream needs to retrieve detailed information about object identity, stored in ventral stream areas, when the object properties require complex fine-tuning of the grasp. In turn, the ventral stream might receive up to date grasp-related information from dorsal stream areas to refine the object internal representation. Future research will provide direct evidence for which specific areas of the two streams interact, the timing of their interactions and in which behavioural context they occur.

Keywords: Connectivity; Dorsal stream; Grasp; Hand; Haptics; Visual input.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Touch
  • Vision, Ocular