Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 232, Issue 9, pp 2753–2765 | Cite as

Segment interdependency and gaze anchoring during manual two-segment sequences

  • Miya K. Rand
Research Article


This study examined two-segment pointing movements with various accuracy constraints to test whether there is segment interdependency in saccadic eye movements that accompany manual actions. The other purpose was to examine how planning of movement accuracy and amplitude for the second pointing influences the timing of gaze shift to the second target at the transition between two segments. Participants performed a rapid two-segment pointing task, in which the first segment had two target sizes, and the second segment had two target sizes and two movement distances. The results showed that duration and peak velocity of the initial pointing were influenced by altered kinematic characteristics of the second pointing due to task manipulations of the second segment, revealing segment interdependency in hand movements. In contrast, saccade duration and velocity did not show such segment interdependency. Thus, unlike hand movements, saccades are planned and organized independently for each segment during sequential manual actions. In terms of the timing of gaze shift to the second target, this was delayed when the initial pointing was made to the smaller first target, indicating that gaze anchoring to the initial target is used to verify the pointing termination. Importantly, the gaze shift was delayed when the second pointing was made to the smaller or farther second target. This suggests that visual information of the hand position at the initial target is important for the planning of movement distance and accuracy of the next pointing. Furthermore, timings of gaze shift and pointing initiation to the second target were highly correlated. Thus, at the transition between two segments, gazes and hand movements are highly coupled in time, which allows the sensorimotor system to process visual and proprioceptive information for the verification of pointing termination and planning of the next pointing.


Eye–hand coordination Context dependency Accuracy constraint Saccade Reaching 



This research was supported by Grant Ra 2183/1-1 of the German Research Foundation (DFG). I thank Maia Iobidze for her support in data collection. The author declares no competing financial interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo)DortmundGermany

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