Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 170, Issue 4, pp 532–542 | Cite as

An object-centred reference frame for control of grasping: effects of grasping a distractor object on visuomotor control

  • Sandhiran Patchay
  • Patrick Haggard
  • Umberto Castiello
Research Article


Previous evidence based on perceptual integration and arbitrary responses suggests extensive cross-modal links in attention across the various modalities. Attention typically shifts to a common location across the modalities, despite the vast differences in their initial coding of space. An issue that remains unclear is whether or not these effects of multisensory coding occur during more natural tasks, such as grasping and manipulating three-dimensional objects. Using kinematic measures, we found strong effects of the diameter of a grasped distractor object on the aperture used to grasp a target object at both coincident and non-coincident locations. These results suggest that interference effects can occur between proprioceptive and visuomotor signals in grasping. Unlike other interference effects in cross-modal attention, these effects do not depend on the spatial relation between target and distractor, but occur within an object-based frame of reference.


Kinematics Reach to grasp Multisensory information Vision Proprioception Motor control 


  1. Bell AHM, Meredith A, Van Opstal AJ, Munoz DP (2005) Cross-modal integration in the primate superior colliculus underlying the preparation and initiation of saccadic eye movements. J Neurophysiol 93:3659–3673PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Castiello U (1996) Grasping a fruit: selection for action. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 22:582–603CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Castiello U (1999) Mechanisms of selection for the control of hand action. Trends Cogn Sci 7:264–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Castiello U (2005) The neuroscience of grasping. Nat Rev Neurosci 6:726–736CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. D’Amico M, Ferrigno G (1992) Comparison between the more recent techniques for smoothing and derivative assessment in biomechanics. Med Biol Eng Comput 30:193–204PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Driver J, Spence C (1999) Cross-modal links in spatial attention. In: Humphreys GW, Duncan J, Treisman A (eds) Attention, Space and Action. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 130–149Google Scholar
  7. Duncan J (1984) Selective attention and the organisation of visual information. J Exp Psychol Gen 113:501–517CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Gentilucci M, Castiello U, Corradini ML, Scarpa M, Umilta’ C, Rizzolatti G (1991) Influence of different types of grasping on the transport component of prehension movements. Neuropsychologia 29:361–378CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Gentilucci M, Daprati E, Gangitano M (1998) Haptic information differentially interferes with visual analysis in reaching-grasping control and in perceptual processes. Neuroreport 9:887–891PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Graziano MS,Gross CG (1993) A bimodal map of space: somatosensory receptive fields in the macaque putamen with corresponding visual receptive fields. Exp Brain Res 97:96–109CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Haggard P, Wing A (1995) Coordination of hand aperture with the spatial path of hand transport. Exp Brain Res 118:286–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Huer H, Spijkers W, Kleinsorge T, van der Loo H, Steglich C (1998) The time course of cross-talk during the simultaneous specification of bimanual movement amplitudes. Exp Brain Res 118:381–392CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Jakobson LS, Goodale MA (1991) Factors affecting higher-order movement planning: a kinematic analysis of human prehension. Exp Brain Res 86:199–208CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Jeannerod M (1981) Intersegmental coordination during reaching at natural visual objects. In: Long J, Baddeley A (eds) Attention and performance IX Erlbaum. Hillsdale, NJ, pp 153–169Google Scholar
  15. Jeannerod M (1984) The timing of natural prehension movements. J Motor Behav 16:235–254Google Scholar
  16. Jeannerod M, Frak V (1999) Mental imaging of motor activity in humans. Curr Opin Neurobiol 9:735–739CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Kelso JAS, Southard DL, Goodman D (1979) On the coordination of two-handed movements. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 5:229–238CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Marr D (1982) Vision. W. H. Freeman, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  19. Patchay S, Castiello U, Haggard P (2003) A cross-modal interference effect in grasping objects. Psychonom Bull Rev 10:924–931Google Scholar
  20. Pouget A, Ducom JC, Torri J, Bavelier D (2002) Multisensory spatial representations in eye-centered coordinates for reaching. Cognition 83:1–11CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Scholl BJ (2001) Objects and attention: the state of the art. Cognition 80:1–46CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Spence C, Pavani F, Driver J (1998) Cross-modal links between vision and touch in covert endogenous spatial attention. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 26:1298–1319Google Scholar
  23. Spence C, Baddeley R, Zampini M, James R, Shore DI (2003) Multisensory temporal order judgments: when two locations are better than one. Percept Psychophys 65:318–328PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Spence CJ, Driver J (1996) Audiovisual links in endogenous covert spatial attention. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 22:1005–1030CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Stein BE (1998) Neural mechanisms for synthesizing sensory information and producing adaptive behaviors. Exp Brain Res 123:124–135CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Tipper SP, Howard LA, Jackson SR (1997) Selective reaching to grasp: evidence for distractor interference effects. Vis Cogn 4(1):1–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tipper SP, Howard LA, Houghton G (1998) Action-based mechanisms of attention. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B, Biol Sci 353:1385–1393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Welsh TN, Elliott D (2004) Movement trajectories in the presence of a distracting stimulus: Evidence for a response activation model of selective reaching. Q J Exp Psychol Sect A 57:1031–1057CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Westwood DA, Goodale MA (2003) Perceptual illusion and the real-time control of action. Spat Vis 16:243–254CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Wing AM, Turton A, Fraser C (1986) Grasp size and accuracy of approach in reaching. J Mot Behav 18:245–260Google Scholar
  31. Wing AM, Church RM, Gentner RD (1989) Variability of the timing of responses during repetitive tapping with alternate hands. Psychol Res 51:28–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Yamamoto S, Kitazawa S (2001) Reversal of subjective temporal order due to arm crossing. Nat Neurosci 4:759–765CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Zampini M, Shore DI, Spence C (2003) Multisensory temporal order judgments: the role of hemispheric redundancy. Int J Psychophys 50:165–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandhiran Patchay
    • 1
    • 2
  • Patrick Haggard
    • 3
  • Umberto Castiello
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyRoyal Holloway University of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and CounsellingUniversity of GreenwichLondonUK
  3. 3.Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Department of PsychologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Psicologia GeneraleUniversità di PadovaPadovaItaly

Personalised recommendations