Coupling of Eye, Finger, Elbow, and Shoulder Movements During Manual Aiming
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Temporal and spatial coupling of point of gaze (PG) and movements of the finger, elbow, and shoulder during a speeded aiming task were examined. Ten participants completed 40-cm aiming movements with the right arm, in a situation that allowed free movement of the eyes, head, arm, and trunk. On the majority of trials, a large initial saccade undershot the target slightly, and 1 or more smaller corrective saccades brought the eyes to the target position. The finger, elbow, and shoulder exhibited a similar pattern of undershooting their final positions, followed by small corrective movements. Eye movements usually preceded limb movements, and the eyes always arrived at the target well in advance of the finger. There was a clear temporal coupling between primary saccade completion and peak acceleration of the finger, elbow, and shoulder. The initiation of limb-segment movement usually occurred in a proximal-to-distal pattern. Increased variability in elbow and shoulder position as the movement progressed may have served to reduce variability in finger position. The spatial-temporal coupling of PG with the 3 limb segments was optimal for the pick up of visual information about the position of the finger and the target late in the movement.
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