Human movement science vol:20 issue:4-5 pages:563-585
In a number of studies, we have demonstrated that the spatial-temporal coupling of eye and hand movements is optimal for the pickup of visual information about the position of the hand and the target late in the hand's trajectory. Several experiments designed to examine temporal coupling have shown that the eyes arrive at the target area concurrently with the hand achieving peak acceleration. Between the time the hand reached peak velocity and the end of the movement, increased variability in the position of the shoulder and the elbow was accompanied by a decreased spatial variability in the hand. Presumably, this reduction in variability was due to the use of retinal and extra-retinal information about the relative positions of the eye, hand and target. However, the hand does not appear to be a slave to the eye. For example, we have been able to decouple eye movements and hand movements using Müller-Lyer configurations as targets. Predictable bias, found in primary and corrective saccadic eye movements, was not found for hand movements, if on-line visual information about the target was available during aiming. That is, the hand remained accurate even when the eye had a tendency to undershoot or overshoot the target position. However, biases of the hand were evident, at least in the initial portion of an aiming movement, when vision of the target was removed and vision of the hand remained. These findings accent the versatility of human motor control and have implications for current models of visual processing and limb control.