Oculo-manual tracking of visual targets in monkey: role of the arm afferent information in the control of arm and eye movements

G. M. Gauthier*, F. Mussa Ivaldi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The study was aimed at defining the role of hand (and arm) kinaesthetic information in coordination control of the visuo-oculo-manual tracking system. Baboons were trained to follow slow-moving and stepping visual targets either with the eyes alone or with the eyes and a lever moved by the forelimb about the vertical axis. A LED was attached to the lever extremity. Four oculo-manual tracking condidtions were tested and compared to eye-alone tracking: Eye and hand tracking of a visual target presented on a screen, eye tracking of the hand, and eye tracking of an imaginary target actively moved by the arm. The performance of the animals evaluated in terms of latency, and velocity and position precision for both eye and hand movements was seen to be equivalent to that of humans in similar situations. After dorsal root rhizotomy (C1-T2) the animals were unable to produce slow arm motion in response to slow-moving targets. Instead, they produced successions of ballistic-like motions whose amplitude decreased as retraining proceeded. In addition, the animals could not longer respond with smooth pursuit eye movements to an imaginary target actively displaced by the animal's forelimb. It was concluded that the absence of ocular smooth pursuit after lesion results from the disruption of a signal derived from arm kinaesthetic information and addresses to the oculomotor system. This signal is likely to be used in the control of coordination between arm and eye movements during visuo-oculo-manual tracking tasks. One cause of the animal's inability to achieve slow arm movement in response to slow target motion is thought to be due to a lesion-induced alteration of the spinal common pathway dynamics which normally integrate the velocity signal descending from the arm movement command system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-154
Number of pages17
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 1988


  • Forelimb deafferentation
  • Oculo-manual coordination
  • Oculo-manual tracking
  • Smooth pursuit
  • Trained baboon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Oculo-manual tracking of visual targets in monkey: role of the arm afferent information in the control of arm and eye movements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this