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J Neurophysiol. 2019 Oct 2. doi: 10.1152/jn.00017.2019. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of Visuomotor Delays on the Control of Movement and on Perceptual Localization in the Presence and Absence of Visual Targets.

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Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, United States.
Biomedical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.
Physiology, Northwestern University, United States.


The sensory system constantly deals with delayed feedback. Recent studies showed that playing a virtual game of pong with delayed feedback caused hypermetric reaching movements. Here, we investigated if this effect is associated with a perceptual bias. In addition, we examined the importance of the target in causing hypermetric movements. In a first experiment, participants played a delayed pong game, and blindly reached to presented targets. Following each reaching movement, they assessed the position of the invisible cursor. We found that participants performed hypermetric movements but reported that the invisible cursor reached the target, suggesting that they were unaware of the hypermetria, and that their perception was biased towards the target rather than towards their hand position. In a second experiment, we removed the visual target, and strikingly, the hypermetria vanished. Moreover, participants reported that the invisible cursor was located with their hand. Taking these results together, we conclude that the adaptation to the visuomotor delay during the pong game selectively affected the execution of goal directed movements, resulting in hypermetria and perceptual bias when movements are directed toward visual targets but not when such targets are absent.


Action; Perception; Proprioceptive Space; Reaching; Visuomotor delay


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