Visual Motor Transformations


This set of studies has focused on revealing brain substrates that mediate eye-hand coordination.   The work was inspired by observations that gaze shifts affected properties of neural spiking in parietal and frontal cortex.  When we began this work (Baker et al. 1999, see reference below), no one had shown similar effects in humans.  We and others have replicated and extended the neural recording data. 

Key findings have included:

  • Gaze position has a synergistic influence on finger movement-related activation in neocortex and subcortex
  • Similar to neural recording work in non-human primates, gaze position and hand movement yield combinatory patterns of activation, such that one finds gaze-centered, hand-centered and gaze+hand centered representations neocortex and subcortex
  • Gaze influences on hand movement-related activation develops immediately before movement onset
  • Evidence that gaze modifies movement direction tuning in human motor cortical areas

Publications:  (If you download PDF versions of the publications, you have agreed to Fair Use policies.)

  • Bédard P, Churchill T, Sanes JN (2011)  Gaze effects on directional coding of reaching in human frontal and parietal cortex.  17th International Conference on Functional Mapping of the Human Brain, June 2011.
  • Bédard P., M. Wu, and J. N. Sanes  (2011)  Brain activation related to combinations of gaze position, visual input and goal-directed hand movements.  Cerebral Cortex, 21:1273-1282.  Pubmed citation | Download pdf
  • Bédard, P. and J. N. Sanes (2009)  Gaze and hand position effects on finger-movement related human brain activation.  Journal of Neurophysiology, 101: 834-842.  Pubmed citation | Download pdf
  • Bédard, P. and J. N. Sanes (2008) Gaze influences finger movement-related and visual-related activation across the human brain. Experimental Brain Research, 188:63-75.  Pubmed Citation | Download PDF
  • Galati, G., G. Committeri, J. N. Sanes and L. Pizzamiglio (2001)  Spatial coding of visual and somatic sensory information in body-centered coordinates.  European Journal of Neuroscience, 14: 737-746.  Pubmed citation |Download pdf
  • Baker, J. T., J. P. Donoghue and J. N. Sanes (1999) Gaze direction modulates finger movement activation patterns in human cerebral cortex.  Journal of Neuroscience, 19: 10044-10052.  Pubmed citation | Download pdf