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Evidence of common and separate eye and hand accumulators underlying flexible eye-hand coordination

Jana, Sumitash and Gopal, Atul and Murthy, Aditya (2017) Evidence of common and separate eye and hand accumulators underlying flexible eye-hand coordination. In: JOURNAL OF NEUROPHYSIOLOGY, 117 (1). pp. 348-364.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/jn.00688.2016


Eye and hand movements are initiated by anatomically separate regions in the brain, and yet these movements can be flexibly coupled and decoupled, depending on the need. The computational architecture that enables this flexible coupling of independent effectors is not understood. Here, we studied the computational architecture that enables flexible eye-hand coordination using a drift diffusion framework, which predicts that the variability of the reaction time (RT) distribution scales with its mean. We show that a common stochastic accumulator to threshold, followed by a noisy effector-dependent delay, explains eye-hand RT distributions and their correlation in a visual search task that required decision-making, while an interactive eye and hand accumulator model did not. In contrast, in an eye-hand dual task, an interactive model better predicted the observed correlations and RT distributions than a common accumulator model. Notably, these two models could only be distinguished on the basis of the variability and not the means of the predicted RT distributions. Additionally, signatures of separate initiation signals were also observed in a small fraction of trials in the visual search task, implying that these distinct computational architectures were not a manifestation of the task design per se. Taken together, our results suggest two unique computational architectures for eye-hand coordination, with task context biasing the brain toward instantiating one of the two architectures. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Previous studies on eye-hand coordination have considered mainly the means of eye and hand reaction time (RT) distributions. Here, we leverage the approximately linear relationship between the mean and standard deviation of RT distributions, as predicted by the drift-diffusion model, to propose the existence of two distinct computational architectures underlying coordinated eyehand movements. These architectures, for the first time, provide a computational basis for the flexible coupling between eye and hand movements.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the AMER PHYSIOLOGICAL SOC, 9650 ROCKVILLE PIKE, BETHESDA, MD 20814 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Neuroscience
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2017 04:49
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2017 04:49
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/56454

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