Eye-hand coordination: Saccades are faster when accompanied by a coordinated arm movement

Lawrence H. Snyder, Jeffrey L. Calton, Anthony R. Dickinson, Bonnie M. Lawrence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


When primates reach for an object, they very often direct an eye movement toward the object as well. This pattern of directing both eye and limb movements to the same object appears to be fundamental to eye-hand coordination. We investigated interactions between saccades and reaching movements in a rhesus monkey model system. The amplitude and peak velocity of isolated eye movements are positively correlated with one another. This relationship is called the main sequence. We now report that the main sequence relationship for saccades is changed during coordinated eye and arm movements. In particular, peak eye velocity is approximately 4% faster for the same size saccade when the saccade is accompanied by a coordinated arm movement. Saccade duration is reduced by an equivalent amount. The main sequence relationship is unperturbed when the arm moves simultaneously but in the opposite direction as the eyes, suggesting that eye and arm movements must be tightly coordinated to produce the effect. Candidate areas mediating this interaction include the posterior parietal cortex and the superior colliculus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2279-2286
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002


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