Effects of wrist tendon vibration and eye movements on manual aiming
In the present study, we investigated whether visual information mediates a proprioceptive illusion effect induced by muscle tendon vibration in manual aiming. Visual information was gradually degraded from a situation in which the targets were present and participants (n = 20; 22.3 ± 2.7 years) were permitted to make saccadic eye movements to designated target positions, to a condition in which the targets were not visible and participants were required to perform cyclical aiming while fixating a point between the two target positions. Local tendon vibration applied to the right wrist extensor muscles induced an illusory reduction of 15% in hand movement amplitude. This effect was greater in the fixation than in the saccade condition. Both anticipatory control and proprioceptive feedback are proposed to contribute to the observed effects. The primary saccade amplitude was also reduced by almost 4% when muscle tendon vibration was locally applied to the wrist. These results confirm a tight link between eye movements and manual perception and action. Moreover, the impact of the proprioceptive illusion on the ocular system indicates that the interaction between systems is bidirectional.
KeywordsTendon vibration Eye–hand coordination Perceptual illusion Sensory information
The authors wish to thank Ir. Marc Beirinckx and Ir. Paul Meugens for providing invaluable guidance in designing the research equipment and the electronics. MPB is supported by the Research Foundation—Flanders (FWO).
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