Visual control of reaching movements without vision of the limb Academic Article uri icon


  • The spatial and temporal organization of hand and eye movements were studied in normal human subjects as they pointed toward small visual targets. The experiment was designed to assess the role of information about target position in correcting the trajectory of the hand when view of the hand was not available. To accomplish this, the duration of target presentation was systematically varied across blocks of trials. The results of this experiment showed that pointing movements were about 3 times more accurate when the target was present throughout the entire pointing movement, than when the target disappeared shortly after the hand movement had begun. These data indicate that pointing movements made without view of the limb are not purely preprogrammed but instead, are corrected during their execution. These modifications to the motor program are smoothly integrated into the ongoing movement and must depend upon comparing visual information about the position of the target with nonvisual information about the position of the limb. The source of this non-visual information was not directly established in the present experiment but presumably must be derived from kinesthetic reafferences and/or efference copy.

publication date

  • April 1986