Sensory Integration During Goal Directed Reaches: The Effects of Manipulating Target Availability

Title: Sensory Integration During Goal Directed Reaches: The Effects of Manipulating Target Availability
Authors: Khanafer, Sajida
Date: 2012
Abstract: When using visual and proprioceptive information to plan a reach, it has been proposed that the brain combines these cues to estimate the object and/or limb’s location. Specifically, according to the maximum-likelihood estimation (MLE) model, more reliable sensory inputs are assigned a greater weight (Ernst & Banks, 2002). In this research we examined if the brain is able to adjust which sensory cue it weights the most. Specifically, we asked if the brain changes how it weights sensory information when the availability of a visual cue is manipulated. Twenty-four healthy subjects reached to visual (V), proprioceptive (P), or visual + proprioceptive (VP) targets under different visual delay conditions (e.g. on V and VP trials, the visual target was available for the entire reach, it was removed with the go-signal or it was removed 1, 2 or 5 seconds before the go-signal). Subjects completed 5 blocks of trials, with 90 trials per block. For 12 subjects, the visual delay was kept consistent within a block of trials, while for the other 12 subjects, different visual delays were intermixed within a block of trials. To establish which sensory cue subjects weighted the most, we compared endpoint positions achieved on V and P reaches to VP reaches. Results indicated that all subjects weighted sensory cues in accordance with the MLE model across all delay conditions and that these weights were similar regardless of the visual delay. Moreover, while errors increased with longer visual delays, there was no change in reaching variance. Thus, manipulating the visual environment was not enough to change subjects’ weighting strategy, further i
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -