The contribution of vision and proprioception to judgements of finger proximity


 We sought to determine whether an increase in judged egocentric distance created by increasing vergence-specified distance would be negated when participants pointed at their own finger. It was found that ocular position dominates limb proprioception in the judgement of finger distance in the sagittal plane when vision is available. In contrast, an increase in perceived egocentric distance was largely attenuated by the presence of limb proprioception in reduced visual cue conditions. We conclude that the relative contribution of vergence to perceived distance depends upon the strength of the vergence effort signal when there are other cues present. Furthermore, if the distance percept includes a major contribution from retinal cues, then the visual component will dominate the limb proprioception component. If the visual component is largely determined by vergence information, limb proprioception will make a significant contribution and actually dominate when the vergence effort signal is weak. The results extend previous studies that have found a similar relationship between ocular position and limb proprioception in the perception of a finger′s location in the coronal plane.

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Received: 19 May 1997 / Accepted: 6 October 1997

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Plooy, A., Tresilian, J., Mon-Williams, M. et al. The contribution of vision and proprioception to judgements of finger proximity. Exp Brain Res 118, 415–420 (1998).

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  • Key words Vergence
  • Depth perception
  • Proprioception
  • Limb position
  • Pointing
  • Human