Perceptual requirements for fast manual responses

Eli Brenner*, Jeroen B.J. Smeets

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The on-line visual control of human movements can be exceptionally fast. Whether it is fast depends on the kind of visual information that is involved. In the present study we examine whether fast on-line control is specific to the magnocellular visual pathway. Fast manual responses become evident when an ongoing movement has to be adjusted, for instance because the target is displaced. We examined whether the response to such perturbations is faster for stimuli that only activate the magnocellular pathway than for equally conspicuous stimuli that only activate the parvocellular pathway. The response was indeed about 35 ms faster for stimuli that activate the magnocellular pathway. However, we argue that the slower response to stimuli that only stimulate the parvocellular pathway is due to the properties of the neurones involved and the less direct connection to the motor areas, rather than to fast reactions being driven exclusively by magnocellular input.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-252
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003


  • Fast manual responses
  • Human movements
  • Magnocellular visual pathway
  • Parvocellular pathway
  • Perceptual requirements
  • Visual control


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