Evidence for multisensory spatial-to-motor transformations in aiming movements of children

Bradley R. King, Florian A. Kagerer, Jose L. Contreras-Vidal, Jane E. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

The extant developmental literature investigating age-related differences in the execution of aiming movements has predominantly focused on visuomotor coordination, despite the fact that additional sensory modalities, such as audition and somatosensation, may contribute to motor planning, execution, and learning. The current study investigated the execution of aiming movements toward both visual and acoustic stimuli. In addition, we examined the interaction between visuomotor and auditory-motor coordination as 5- to 10-yr-old participants executed aiming movements to visual and acoustic stimuli before and after exposure to a visuomotor rotation. Children in all age groups demonstrated significant improvement in performance under the visuomotor perturbation, as indicated by decreased initial directional and root mean squared errors. Moreover, children in all age groups demonstrated significant visual aftereffects during the postexposure phase, suggesting a successful update of their spatial-to-motor transformations. Interestingly, these updated spatial-to-motor transformations also influenced auditory-motor performance, as indicated by distorted movement trajectories during the auditory postexposure phase. The distorted trajectories were present during auditory postexposure even though the auditory-motor relationship was not manipulated. Results suggest that by the age of 5 yr, children have developed a multisensory spatial-to-motor transformation for the execution of aiming movements toward both visual and acoustic targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Volume101
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology

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