Can the motor system resolve a premovement bias in grip aperture? Online analysis of grasping the Müller-Lyer illusion.Exp Brain Res. 2004 Oct; 158(3):378-84.EB
The goal of the present investigation was to determine the time-course by which the motor system might resolve the context-dependent effects of a visual illusion [i.e., the Müller-Lyer (ML) figure]. Specifically, we asked participants to scale their grip aperture (GA) to the perceived size of an object embedded within a ML figure in advance of closed-loop (CL) and open-loop (OL) grasping movements. As a result, premovement GA was biased in a direction consistent with the perceptual effects of the illusion. We reasoned that such a manipulation might provide a novel opportunity to determine whether the motor system is able to resolve a biased GA immediately following the onset of a response [i.e., in accord with the perception/action model (PAM); Milner and Goodale 1995, The visual brain in action, Oxford University Press], or gradually as the action unfolds [i.e., in accord with the planning/control model (PCM); Glover and Dixon 2002, Percept Psychophys 64:266-278]. It was found that biasing GA in advance of movement resulted in a reliable effect of the ML figure throughout CL and OL trials (i.e., up to 80% of grasping time). Although the present findings appear contrary to the theoretical tenets of the PAM and the PCM, it is proposed that biasing GA in advance of movement leads to offline visual processing and a feedforward mode of grasping control, thus accounting for the illusion-induced effect throughout the grasping response.