Apr 15, 2014

Motor coordination uses external spatial coordinates independent of developmental vision

Cognition
Tobias Heed, Brigitte Röder

Abstract

The constraints that guide bimanual movement coordination are informative about the processing principles underlying movement planning in humans. For example, symmetry relative to the body midline benefits finger and hand movements independent of hand posture. This symmetry constraint has been interpreted to indicate that movement coordination is guided by a perceptual code. Although it has been assumed implicitly that the perceptual system at the heart of this constraint is vision, this relationship has not been tested. Here, congenitally blind and sighted participants made symmetrical and non-symmetrical (that is, parallel) bimanual tapping and finger oscillation movements. For both groups, symmetrical movements were executed more correctly than parallel movements, independent of anatomical constraints like finger homology and hand posture. For the blind, the reliance on external spatial factors in movement coordination stands in stark contrast to their use of an anatomical reference frame in perceptual processing. Thus, the externally coded symmetry constraint evident in bimanual coordination can develop in the absence of the visual system, suggesting that the visual system is not critical for the establishment of an externa...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Establishment and Maintenance of Localization
Short Interspersed Nucleotide Elements
Visual System
Adrenal Cortex Diseases
Abduction
Middle Finger Structure
Four-Way
Structure of Left Hand
Fingers
Blind Vision

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