Unconstrained reaching modulates eye-hand coupling

Dongpyo Lee, Howard Poizner*, Daniel M. Corcos, Denise Y. Henriques

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Eye-hand coordination is a crucial element of goal-directed movements. However, few studies have looked at the extent to which unconstrained movements of the eyes and hand made to targets influence each other. We studied human participants who moved either their eyes or both their eyes and hand to one of three static or flashed targets presented in 3D space. The eyes were directed, and hand was located at a common start position on either the right or left side of the body. We found that the velocity and scatter of memory-guided saccades (flashed targets) differed significantly when produced in combination with a reaching movement than when produced alone. Specifically, when accompanied by a reach, peak saccadic velocities were lower than when the eye moved alone. Peak saccade velocities, as well as latencies, were also highly correlated with those for reaching movements, especially for the briefly flashed targets compared to the continuous visible target. The scatter of saccade endpoints was greater when the saccades were produced with the reaching movement than when produced without, and the size of the scatter for both saccades and reaches was weakly correlated. These findings suggest that the saccades and reaches made to 3D targets are weakly to moderately coupled both temporally and spatially and that this is partly the result of the arm movement influencing the eye movement. Taken together, this study provides further evidence that the oculomotor and arm motor systems interact above and beyond any common target representations shared by the two motor systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-223
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Human
  • Kinematics
  • Motor control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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