Can ongoing movements be guided by allocentric visual information when the target is visible?

Emily M. Crowe*, Martin Bossard, Eli Brenner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


People use both egocentric (object-to-self) and allocentric (object-to-object) spatial information to interact with the world. Evidence for allocentric information guiding ongoing actions stems from studies in which people reached to where targets had previously been seen while other objects were moved. Since egocentric position judgments might fade or change when the target is removed, we sought for conditions in which people might benefit from relying on allocentric information when the target remains visible. We used a task that required participants to intercept targets that moved across a screen using a cursor that represented their finger but that moved by a di?erent amount in a different plane. During each attempt, we perturbed the target, cursor, or background individually or all three simultaneously such that their relative positions did not change and there was no need to adjust the ongoing movement. An obvious way to avoid responding to such simultaneous perturbations is by relying on allocentric information. Relying on egocentric information would give a response that resembles the combined responses to the three isolated perturbations. The hand responded in accordance with the responses to the isolated perturbations despite the differences between how the finger and cursor moved. This response remained when the simultaneous perturbation was repeated many times, suggesting that participants hardly relied upon allocentric spatial information to control their ongoing visually guided actions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number1
Early online date11 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • arm movements
  • egocentric
  • interception
  • online
  • perturbation


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