3 years ago

Gaze-centered coding of proprioceptive reach targets after effector movement: Testing the impact of online information, time of movement, and target distance

Katja Fiehler, Stefanie Mueller

by Stefanie Mueller, Katja Fiehler

In previous research, we demonstrated that spatial coding of proprioceptive reach targets depends on the presence of an effector movement (Mueller & Fiehler, Neuropsychologia, 2014, 2016). In these studies, participants were asked to reach in darkness with their right hand to a proprioceptive target (tactile stimulation on the finger tip) while their gaze was varied. They either moved their left, stimulated hand towards a target location or kept it stationary at this location where they received a touch on the fingertip to which they reached with their right hand. When the stimulated hand was moved, reach errors varied as a function of gaze relative to target whereas reach errors were independent of gaze when the hand was kept stationary. The present study further examines whether (a) the availability of proprioceptive online information, i.e. reaching to an online versus a remembered target, (b) the time of the effector movement, i.e. before or after target presentation, or (c) the target distance from the body influences gaze-centered coding of proprioceptive reach targets. We found gaze-dependent reach errors in the conditions which included a movement of the stimulated hand irrespective of whether proprioceptive information was available online or remembered. This suggests that an effector movement leads to gaze-centered coding for both online and remembered proprioceptive reach targets. Moreover, moving the stimulated hand before or after target presentation did not affect gaze-dependent reach errors, thus, indicating a continuous spatial update of positional signals of the stimulated hand rather than the target location per se. However, reaching to a location close to the body rather than farther away (but still within reachable space) generally decreased the influence of a gaze-centered reference frame.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0180782

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