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Visual and motor constraints on trajectory planning in pointing movements

By R. Palluel-Germain, Frederic Boy, J. P. Orliaguet and Y. Coello


The aim of the present study was to show that planning and controlling the trajectory of a pointing movement is influenced not solely by physical constraints but also by visual constraints. Subjects were required to point towards different targets located at 20◦, 40◦, 60◦ and 80◦ of eccentricity. Movements were either constrained (i.e. two-dimensional movements) or unconstrained (i.e. three-dimensional movements). Furthermore, movements were carried out either under a direct or a remote visual control (use of a video system). Results revealed that trajectories of constrained movements were nearly straight whatever the eccentricity of the target and the type of visual control. A different patternwas revealed for unconstrained movements. Indeed, under direct vision the trajectory curvature increased as the eccentricity augmented, whereas under indirect vision, trajectories remained nearly straight whatever the eccentricity of the target. Thus, movements controlled through a remote visual feedback appear to be planned in extrinsic space as constrained movements

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