Onset and execution of compensatory reaches are faster than the most rapid voluntary reaches. With onset latencies near 100 ms, it is proposed that initial control of compensatory reaches cannot rely on visual information obtained after perturbation onset; rather, they rely on a visuospatial map acquired prior to instability. In natural conditions, it is not practical to direct gaze toward every potential support surface in preparation for a perturbation, suggesting that peripheral vision may be uniquely important. This study aimed to determine whether visuospatial mapping achieved using only peripheral visual information could be used to control reach-to-grasp reactions. Participants sat in an unstable chair. Whole body perturbations were used to evoke rapid reach-to-grasp reactions. A handle was positioned at midline or to the right of the participant. Gaze was directed toward the center or right to view the handle in peripheral or central visual fields. Electromyographic and kinematic data were recorded. Peripheral information acquired prior to perturbation was sufficient for successful execution of reach-to-grasp without delay. Differences in reach kinematics, however, did exist between vision conditions (e.g., maximum lateral wrist displacement and magnitude of hand overshoot relative to the handle were greater for peripheral vs. central vision). Handle location led to target-specific differences in initial muscle recruitment revealing information acquired prior to perturbation were used to guide initial limb trajectory. Results reveal the capacity to rely on a visuospatial map constructed from peripheral visual information for compensatory reaching but also highlight limitations leading to more conservative reach trajectories.
Reach-to-grasp Vision Postural perturbation Visuospatial map Central vision Peripheral vision
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
The authors would like to acknowledge the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) for the funding of this research.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Abrams RA (1992) Coordination of eye and hand for aimed limb movements. In: Proteau L, Elliot D (eds) Vision and motor control. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 129–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cheng KC, McKay SM, King EC, Maki BE (2012) Reaching to recover balance in unpredictable circumstances: is online visual control of the reach-to-grasp reaction necessary or sufficient? Exp Brain Res 218(4):589–599PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Findlay JM, Brown V, Gilchrist ID (2001) Saccade target selection in visual search: the effect of information from the previous fixation. Vision Res 41:87–95PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gage WH, Zabjek KF, Hill SW, McIlroy WE (2007) Parallels in control of voluntary and perturbation-evoked reach-to-grasp movements: EMG and kinematics. Exp Brain Res 181:627–637PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ghafouri M, McIlroy WE, Maki BE (2004) Initiation of rapid reach-and-grasp balance reactions: is a pre-formed visuospatial map used in controlling the initial arm trajectory? Exp Brain Res 155:532–536PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Heath M, Binsted G (2007) Visuomotor memory for target location in near and far reaching spaces. J Mot Behav 39:169–177PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hess RF, Field D (1993) Is the increased spatial uncertainty in the normal periphery due to spatial undersampling or uncalibrated disarray? Vision Res 33:2663–2670PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jackson SR, Jackson GM, Rosicky J (1995) Are non-relevant objects represented in working memory? The effect of non-target objects on reach and grasp kinematics. Exp Brain Res 102:519–530PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jeannerod M (1988) The neural and behavioural organization of goal-directed movements. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
Jensen JL, Brown LA, Woollacott MH (2001) Compensatory stepping: the biomechanics of a preferred response among older adults. Exp Aging Res 27:361–376PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
King EC, Lee TA, McKay SM, Scovil CY, Peters AL, Pratt J, Maki BE (2011) Does the “eyes lead the hand” principle apply to reach-to-grasp movements evoked by unexpected balance perturbations? Hum Mov Sci 30:368–383PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kopinska A, Harris LR (2003) Spatial representation in body coordinates: evidence from errors in remembering positions of visual and auditory targets after active eye, head, and body movements. Can J Exp Psychol 57:23–37PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lakhani B, Van OK, Miyasike-daSilva V, Akram S, Mansfield A, McIlroy WE (2011) Does the movement matter?: determinants of the latency of temporally urgent motor reactions. Brain Res 1416:35–43PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lemay M, Stelmach GE (2005) Multiple frames of reference for pointing to a remembered target. Exp Brain Res 164:301–310PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Levi DM, Klein SA (1996) Limitations on position coding imposed by undersampling and univariance. Vision Res 36:2111–2120PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Maki BE, McIlroy WE (1997) The role of limb movements in maintaining upright stance: the “change-in-support” strategy. Phys Ther 77:488–507PubMedGoogle Scholar
Maki BE, Whitelaw RS (1993) Influence of expectation and arousal on center-of-pressure responses to transient postural perturbations. J Vestib Res 3:25–39PubMedGoogle Scholar
McIlroy WE, Maki BE (1995) Early activation of arm muscles follows external perturbation of upright stance. Neurosci Lett 184:177–180PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Miyasike-daSilva V, Allard F, McIlroy WE (2011) Where do we look when we walk on stairs? Gaze behaviour on stairs, transitions, and handrails. Exp Brain Res 209:73–83PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Prablanc C, Echallier JF, Komilis E, Jeannerod M (1979) Optimal response of eye and hand motor systems in pointing at a visual target. I. Spatio-temporal characteristics of eye and hand movements and their relationships when varying the amount of visual information. Biol Cybern 35:113–124PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pratt J, Dodd M, Welsh T (2006) Growing older does not always mean moving slower: examining aging and the saccadic motor system. J Mot Behav 38:373–382PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shumway-Cook A, Woolacott M (1995) Motor control: theory and practical applications. Williams & Wilkins, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
Sivak B, MacKenzie CL (1990) Integration of visual information and motor output in reaching and grasping: the contributions of peripheral and central vision. Neuropsychologia 28:1095–1116PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sivak B, MacKenzie CL (1992) The contributions of peripheral vision and central vision to prehension. In: Proteau L, Elliot D (eds) Vision and motor control. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 233–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Whitaker D, Latham K (1997) Disentangling the role of spatial scale, separation and eccentricity in Weber’s law for position. Vision Res 37:515–524PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zettel JL, Holbeche A, McIlroy WE, Maki BE (2005) Redirection of gaze and switching of attention during rapid stepping reactions evoked by unpredictable postural perturbation. Exp Brain Res 165:392–401PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zettel JL, McIlroy WE, Maki BE (2008) Gaze behavior of older adults during rapid balance-recovery reactions. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 63:885–891PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar