Goal-directed arm movements change eye-head coordination

Jeroen B J Smeets*, Mary M. Hayhoe, Dana H. Ballard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We compared the head movements accompanying gaze shifts while our subjects executed different manual operations, requiring gaze shifts of about 30°. The different tasks yielded different latencies between gaze shifts and hand movements, and different maximum velocities of the hand. These changes in eye-hand coordination had a clear effect on eye-head coordination: the latencies and maximum velocities of head and hand were correlated. The same correlation between movements of the head and hand was also found within a task. Therefore, the changes in eye-head coordination are not caused by changes in the strategy of the subjects. We conclude that head movements and saccades during gaze shifts are not based on the same command: head movements depend both on the actual saccade and on possible future gaze shifts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-440
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Head movements
  • Human
  • Latencies
  • Saccadic eye movement
  • Visuomotor coordination


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