How Tilting the Head Interferes With Eye-Hand Coordination: The Role of Gravity in Visuo-Proprioceptive, Cross-Modal Sensory Transformations
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Author/sBernard-Espina, Jules; Dal Canto, Daniele; Beraneck, Mathieu; McIntyre, Joseph; Tagliabue, Michele
To correctly position the hand with respect to the spatial location and orientation of an object to be reached/grasped, visual information about the target and proprioceptive information from the hand must be compared. Since visual and proprioceptive sensory modalities are inherently encoded in a retinal and musculo-skeletal reference frame, respectively, this comparison requires cross-modal sensory transformations. Previous studies have shown that lateral tilts of the head interfere with the visuo-proprioceptive transformations. It is unclear, however, whether this phenomenon is related to the neck flexion or to the head-gravity misalignment. To answer to this question, we performed three virtual reality experiments in which we compared a grasping-like movement with lateral neck flexions executed in an upright seated position and while lying supine. In the main experiment, the task requires cross-modal transformations, because the target information is visually acquired, and the hand ...