Interference between saccadic eye and goal-directed hand movements

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to investigate the nature of the interference effect when the eye is accompanied by a goal-directed hand movement rather than when the eye moves alone. Latencies of eye and hand movements in response to small and large visual target stimuli were measured while employing dual-task methodology. Experiments 1 and 2 were designed to investigate whether the interference effect is related to a specific temporal bottleneck, i.e. the eye and hand motor systems share limited available processes at a specific point in time. The findings of robust interference effects independent of the temporal organization of eye and hand contradicted this notion. The interference effect was not present in experiment 3, where response preparation and target-localization mechanisms were limited by providing subjects with advance information about target position. Experiment 4 employed randomized target positions again and highly salient stimuli, the latter only limiting target-localization processes. The absence of an interference effect adds weight to the argument that visual spatial attentional mechanisms involved in target localization constitute the locus of the interference. Neurophysiological implications of these findings are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Abrams RA, Dobkin RS (1994a) Inhibition of return: effects of attentional cueing on eye movement latencies. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 20:467–477

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Abrams RA, Dobkin RS (1994b) The gap effect and inhibition of return: interactive effects on eye movement latencies. Exp Brain Res 98:483–487

    Google Scholar 

  3. Abrams RA, Jonides J (1988) Programming saccadic eye movements. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 14:428–443

    Google Scholar 

  4. Abrams RA, Meyer DEM, Kornblum S (1989) Speed and accuracy of saccadic eye movements: characteristics of impulse-variability in the oculomotor system. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 15:529–543

    Google Scholar 

  5. Abrams RA, Meyer DEM, Kornblum S (1990) Eye-hand coordination: oculomotor control in rapid aimed limb movements. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 16:248–267

    Google Scholar 

  6. Adam JJ (1994) Manipulating the spatial arrangement of stimuli in a precueing task. Acta Psychol 85:183–202

    Google Scholar 

  7. Adam JJ, Paas FGWC, Ekering J, Van Loon E (1995) Spatial localization: tests of a two proces model. Exp Brain Res 102:531–539

    Google Scholar 

  8. Allport A (1987) Selection-for-action: some behavioral and neuropsychological considerations of attention and action. In: Heuer H, Sanders F (eds) Perspectives on perception and action. Erlbaum, Hillsdale

    Google Scholar 

  9. Allport A (1991) Visual attention. In: Posner MI (eds) Foundations of cognitive science. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass

    Google Scholar 

  10. Bekkering H, Adam JJ, Kingma H, Huson A, Whiting HTA (1994) Reaction time latencies of eye and hand movements in single and dual-task conditions. Exp Brain Res 97:471–476

    Google Scholar 

  11. Biguer B, Jeannerod M, Prablanc C (1982) The coordination of eye, head and arm movements during reaching at a single visual target. Exp Brain Res 46:301–304

    Google Scholar 

  12. Brooks VB (1986) The neural basis of control. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 256–289

    Google Scholar 

  13. Brown SH, Kessler KR, Hefter H, Cooke JD, Freund HJ (1993) Role of the cerebellum in visuomotor coordination. I. Delayed eye and arm initiation in patients with mild cerebellar ataxia. Exp Brain Res 94:478–488

    Google Scholar 

  14. Carpenter RHS (1988) Movements of the eyes. Pion, London

    Google Scholar 

  15. Christina RW, Fischman MG, Vercruyssen MJP, Anson JG (1982) Simple reaction time as a function of response complexity: memory drum theory revisted. J Mot Behav 14:301–321

    Google Scholar 

  16. Deubel H, Schneider WX (1995) Saccade target selection and object recognition: evidence for a common attentional mechanism. Vision Res (in press)

  17. Engel FL (1977) Visual conspicuity, visual search and fixation tendencies of the eye. Vision Res 17:95–108

    Google Scholar 

  18. Eriksen CW, Hoffman JE (1972) Temporal and spatial characteristics of selective encoding from visual displays. Percept Psychol 12:201–204

    Google Scholar 

  19. Fagot C, Pashler H (1992) Making two responses to a single object: implications for the central attentional bottleneck. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 18:1058–1079

    Google Scholar 

  20. Findlay JM (1981) Spatial and temporal factors in the predictive generation of saccadic eye movements. Vision Res 21:347–354

    Google Scholar 

  21. Findlay JM (1992) Programming stimulus-elicited saccadic eye movements. In: Rayner K (eds) Eye movements and visual cognition: scene perception and reading. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 8–30

    Google Scholar 

  22. Fischer B, Rogal L (1986) Eye-hand coordination in man: a reaction time study. Biol Cybern 55:253–261

    Google Scholar 

  23. Frens MA, Erkelens CJ (1991) Coordination of hand movements and saccades: evidence for a common and a separate pathway. Exp Brain Res 85:682–690

    Google Scholar 

  24. Harting JK (1977) Descending pathways from the superior colliculus: an autoradiographic analysis in the rhesus monkey. J Comp Neurol 173:583–612

    Google Scholar 

  25. Hoffman JE, Subramaniam B (1995) The role of visual attention in saccadic eye movements. Percept Psychol 57:787–795

    Google Scholar 

  26. Goldberg ME, Segraves MA (1987) Visuospatial and motor attention in the monkey. Neuropsychologia 25:107–118

    Google Scholar 

  27. Guitton D, Buchtel, HA, Douglas RM (1985) Frontal lobe lesions in man cause difficulties in suppressing reflexive glances and in generating goal-directed saccades. Exp Brain Res 16:553–610

    Google Scholar 

  28. Klapp ST (1975) Feedback versus motor programming in the control of aimed movements. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 104:147–153

    Google Scholar 

  29. Mather JA, Fisk JD (1985) Orienting to targets by looking and pointing: parallels and interactions in ocular and manual performance. Q J Exp Psychol 37A:315–338

    Google Scholar 

  30. Miall RC, Weir DJ, Stein JF (1987) Visuo-motor tracking during reversible inactivation of the cerebellum. Exp Brain Res 65:455–464

    Google Scholar 

  31. Miall RC, Weir DJ, Wolpert DM, Stein JF (1993) Is the cerebellum a Smith predictor? J Mot Behav 25:203–216

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. Pashler H (1984) Processing stages in overlapping tasks: evidence for a central bottleneck. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 10:358–377

    Google Scholar 

  33. Pashler H (1989) Dissociations and dependencies between speed and accuracy: evidence for a two-component theory of divided attention in simple tasks. Cogn Psychol 21:529–574

    Google Scholar 

  34. Pashler H (1990) Do response modality effects support multiprocessor models of divided attention? J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 16:826–842

    Google Scholar 

  35. Pashler H (1992) Dual-task interference and elementary mental mechanisms. In: Meyer D, Kornblum S (eds) Attention and performance, vol XIV. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass

    Google Scholar 

  36. Pashler H, Johnston JC (1989) Chronometric evidence for central postponement in temporally overlapping tasks. Q J Exp Psychol 41A:19–45

    Google Scholar 

  37. Pashler H, Hoffman J, Carrier M (1993) Saccadic eye movements and dual-task interference. Q J Exp Psychol 46A:51–82

    Google Scholar 

  38. Posner MI, Cohen Y (1984) Components of visual orienting. In: Bouma H, Bouwhuis DG (eds). Attention and Performance, vol X. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, pp 531–556

    Google Scholar 

  39. Posner MI, Nissen MJ, Ogden WC (1978) Attended and unattended processing modes: the role of set for spatial location. In: Pick H, Saltzman E (eds) Modes of perceiving and processing information. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, pp 137–157

    Google Scholar 

  40. Prablanc C, Echallier JF, Komilis E, Jeannerod M (1979) Optimal response of eye and hand motor systems in pointing at a visual target. 1. Spatio-temporal characteristics of eye and hand movements and their relationship when varying the amount of visual information. Biol Cybern 35:113–124

    Google Scholar 

  41. Prablanc C, Pelisson D, Goodale MA (1986) Visual control of reaching movements without vision of the limb. 1. Role of retinal feedback of target position in guiding the hand. Exp Brain Res 62:293–302

    Google Scholar 

  42. Reulen JPH, Marcus JI, Koops D, Vries FR de, Tiesinga G, Boshuizen K, Bos JT (1988) The precise recording of eye movement: the Iris technique, part I. Med Biol Eng Comput 26:20–26

    Google Scholar 

  43. Rosenbaum DA (1983) The movement precuing technique: assumptions, applications, and extensions. In: Magill RA (ed) Memory and control of action. North-Holland, Amsterdam, pp 231–274

    Google Scholar 

  44. Saslow MG (1967) Latency for saccadic eye movement. J Opt Soc Am 57:1030–1033

    Google Scholar 

  45. Schneider WX (1995) VAM: a neuro-cognitive model for visual attention control of segmentation, object recognition and space based motor action. Vis Cogn 2:331–376

    Google Scholar 

  46. Schneider WX, Deubel H (1995) Visual attention and saccadic eye movements: evidence for obligatory and selective coupling. In: Findlay JM, Kentridge RW, Walker R (eds) Eye movement research: mechanisms, processes and applications. Elsevier Science, Amsterdam, pp 317–324

    Google Scholar 

  47. Sideaway B (1991) Motor programming as a function of constraints on movement initiation. J Mot Behav 23:120–130

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  48. Sideaway B, Christina RW, Shea JB (1988) A movement constraint interpretation of the response complexity effect and programming time. In: Colley A, Beechs J (eds) Cognition and action in skilled behaviour. North-Holland, Amsterdam, pp 87–102

    Google Scholar 

  49. Shepherd M, Findlay J, Hockey R (1986) The relationship between eye movements and spatial attention. Q J Exp Psychol 38A:475–491

    Google Scholar 

  50. Shulman GL, Remington RW, McLean JP (1979) Moving attention through visual space. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 5:522–526

    Google Scholar 

  51. Stein JF (1986) The role of the cerebellum in the visual guidance of movement. Nature 323:217–221

    Google Scholar 

  52. Sternberg S (1969) The discovery of processing stages: extensions of Donders's method. Acta Psychol 30:276–315

    Google Scholar 

  53. Theeuwes J (1992) Selective attention in the visual field. Ruinen, Bariet

    Google Scholar 

  54. Warabi T, Noda H, Kalo T (1986) Effect of aging on sensorimotor functions of eye and hand movements. Exp Neurol 92:686–697

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  55. Wurz RH, Goldberg ME (1972) Activity of superior colliculus in behaving monkeys. III. Cells discharging before eye movements. J Neurophysiol 35:575–586

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bekkering, H., Adam, J.J., van den Aarssen, A. et al. Interference between saccadic eye and goal-directed hand movements. Exp Brain Res 106, 475–484 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00231070

Download citation

Key words

  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Eye movements
  • Hand movements
  • Reaction times
  • Spatial visual attention
  • Human