Gaze Effects on Spatial and Kinematic Characteristics in Pointing to a Remembered Target

  • Ryu, Young-Uk (Dept. of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A & M University) ;
  • Kim, Won-Dae (Dept. of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A & M University) ;
  • Kim, Hyeong-Dong (Dept. of Physical Therapy, Catholic University of Daegu)
  • Received : 2006.09.23
  • Accepted : 2006.10.30
  • Published : 2006.11.19


The purpose of the present study was to examine gaze effects on spatial and kinematic characteristics during a pointing task. Subjects were asked to watch and point to an aimed target (2 mm in diameter) displayed on a vertically mounted board. Four gaze conditions were developed as combinations of "seeing-aiming" in terms of the eye movements: Focal-Focal (F-F), Focal-Fixing (F-X), Fixing-Focal (X-F), and Fixing-Fixing (X-X). Both the home target and an aimed target were presented for 1 second and then were disappeared in F-F and X-F. In X-F and X-X, only an aimed target disappeared after 1 second. Subjects were asked to point (with index finger tip) to an aimed target accurately as soon as the aimed target was removed. A significant main effect of gaze was found (p<.01) for normalized movement time. Peripheral retina targets had significantly larger absolute error compared to central retina targets on the x (medio-lateral) and z (superior-inferior) axes (p<.01). A significant undershooting to peripheral retina targets on the x axis was found (p<.01). F-F and X-F had larger peak velocities compared to F-X and X-X (p<.01). F-F and X-F were characterized by more time spent in the deceleration phase compared to F-X and X-X (p<.01). The present study demonstrates that central vision utilizes a form of on-line visual processing to reach to an object, and thus increases spatial accuracy. However, peripheral vision utilizes a relatively off-line visual processing with a dependency on proprioceptive information.