Near, Far, or In Between?—Target Edges and the Transport Component of Prehension Academic Article uri icon


  • It is well known that during visually guided prehension movements the peak velocity of the arm is scaled for object distance (e.g., Gentilucci et al., 1991; Jakobson & Goodale, 1991; Servos, Goodale, & Jakobson, 1992). Those movements are being directed not to single points in space, however, but rather to objects with extent. Thus, object distance must be computed relative to some particular point on the object. Whether that point corresponds to the location of a particular edge, for example, has not been clearly demonstrated. In the present study, subjects (N = 9) were presented with a series of oblong blocks positioned at different locations. Peak velocity increased with object size for reaches in which different-sized objects had their near edges lined up; in contrast, the peak velocities of reaches directed to objects of different sizes did not differ when the far edges of the objects were lined up. The present study, therefore, provided confirmation that subjects calibrate the peak velocity of their reaches relative to the far edge of a target object.

publication date

  • March 1998