A system for the study of visuomotor coordination during reaching for moving targets

Thomas Schenk, Jens Philipp, Andreas Häußler, Alexa Hauck, Joachim Hermsdörfer, Norbert Mai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Prehensile behavior is a popular task in current research on human motor control. Most studies on reaching used stationary target objects and, therefore, most models do not address the challenges the motor system must respond to when reaching for moving objects. The machines used in earlier studies to produce object motion offered a limited range of trajectories and restricted control over various movement parameters. We have developed a device that allows a great variety of object trajectories along a flat-table surface and gives the experimenter full control over all movement parameters. A linear positioning system is used to move a sled beneath the table surface. Magnetic coupling transfers the sled's movement to the target object on the tabletop. This arrangement allows fast movements of the object (up to 5 m/s) and at the same time protects subjects from any harm due to the moving parts. The system is connected to LC shutter glasses, a 3-D movement registration device, and a switch that detects the onset of hand motion. This allows the selective withdrawal of vision during the reaching task or the introduction of changes in the object motion depending on the subject's reactions. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 31 Jul 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Grasping
  • Motor control
  • Motor learning
  • Moving objects
  • Prehensile movements
  • Reaching


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