Adaptation of voluntary saccades, but not of reactive saccades, transfers to hand pointing movements


  • Cotti Julien
  • Guillaume Alain
  • Alahyane Nadia
  • Pélisson Denis
  • Vercher Jean-Louis

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Studying the transfer of visuomotor adaptation from a given effector (e. g., the eye) to another (e. g., the hand) allows us to question whether sensorimotor processes influenced by adaptation are common to both effector control systems and thus to address the level where adaptation takes place. Previous studies have shown only very weak transfer of the amplitude adaptation of reactive saccades - i. e., produced automatically in response to the sudden appearance of visual targets - to hand pointing movements. Here we compared the amplitude of hand pointing movements recorded before and after adaptation of either reactive or voluntary saccades, produced either in a saccade sequence task or in a single saccade task. No transfer to hand pointing movements was found after adaptation of reactive saccades. In contrast, a substantial transfer to the hand was obtained following adaptation of voluntary saccades produced in sequence. Large amounts of transfer between the two saccade types were also found. These results demonstrate that the visuomotor processes influenced by saccadic adaptation depend on the type of saccades and that, in the case of voluntary saccades, they are shared by hand pointing movements. Implications for the neurophysiological substrates of the adaptation of reactive and voluntary saccades are discussed.

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