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Aarlenne Z. Khan, J. Douglas Crawford, Gunnar Blohm, Christian Urquizar, Yves Rossetti, Laure Pisella; Influence of initial hand and target position on reach errors in optic ataxic and normal subjects. Journal of Vision 2007;7(5):8. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/7.5.8.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Recent neurophysiological studies suggest that reach planning areas in the posterior parietal cortex encode both target and initial hand position in gaze-centered coordinates, which could be used to calculate a desired movement vector. We tested how varying gaze, target position, and initial hand position affected reach errors in two left unilateral optic ataxia patients with right PPC damage and seven neurologically intact controls. Both controls' and patients' reaching errors revealed an influence of target position in gaze-centered coordinates; however, both patients' mean errors were offset toward the left, with greater errors when the target was in their left visual field, consistent with the damage to the right PPC. Control subjects also showed a large quasi-independent shoulder-centered influence of target position. This effect was much less present in patient C.F., who had more medial damage to the PPC. In contrast, for patient O.K., who had more lateral PPC damage, the shoulder-centered effect was larger and interacted with the gaze-centered influence of target position. All subjects' errors also revealed a shoulder-centered influence of the initial hand position, with larger influences on the patients' reaching errors. Both patients also showed an interactive influence of the shoulder-centered and gaze-centered initial hand positions. These results suggest that the target and the hand are compared at more than one level in the visuomotor pathway in multiple reference frames, and these comparisons are then integrated. Depending on the location of the damage within the PPC, these comparisons are disrupted, changing the relative influence of hand and target position in different reference frames on the final reaching movement.
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