Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 109, Issue 3, pp 434–440 | Cite as

Goal-directed arm movements change eye-head coordination

  • Jeroen B. J. Smeets
  • Mary M. Hayhoe
  • Dana H. Ballard
Research Article


We compared the head movements accompanying gaze shifts while our subjects executed different manual operations, requiring gaze shifts of about 30°. The different tasks yielded different latencies between gaze shifts and hand movements, and different maximum velocities of the hand. These changes in eye-hand coordination had a clear effect on eye-head coordination: the latencies and maximum velocities of head and hand were correlated. The same correlation between movements of the head and hand was also found within a task. Therefore, the changes in eye-head coordination are not caused by changes in the strategy of the subjects. We conclude that head movements and saccades during gaze shifts are not based on the same command: head movements depend both on the actual saccade and on possible future gaze shifts.

Key words

Head movements Visuomotor coordination Saccadic eye movement Latencies Human 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeroen B. J. Smeets
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mary M. Hayhoe
    • 3
  • Dana H. Ballard
    • 2
  1. 1.Vakgroep FysiologieErasmus Universiteit RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Computer Science DepartmentUniversity of RochesterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Center for Visual ScienceUniversity of RochesterNew YorkUSA

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