Visuomotor coordination in reaching and locomotion

Science  15 Sep 1989:
Vol. 245, Issue 4923, pp. 1209-1210
DOI: 10.1126/science.2675307


Locomotion and reaching have traditionally been regarded as separate motor activities. In fact, they may be closely connected both from an evolutionary and a neurophysiological viewpoint. Reaching seems to have evolved from the neural systems responsible for the active and precise positioning of the limb during locomotion; moreover, it seems to be organized in the spinal cord. The motor cortex and its corticospinal outflow are preferentially engaged when precise positioning of the limb is needed during locomotion and are also involved during reaching and active positioning of the hand near objects of interest. All of these motor activities require visuomotor coordination, and it is this coordination that could be achieved by the motor cortex and interconnected parietal and cerebellar areas.

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