Stimulus-Locked Responses on Human Upper Limb Muscles and Corrective Reaches are Preferentially Evoked by Low Spatial Frequencies [article]

Rebecca A Kozak, Philipp Kreyenmeier, Chao Gu, Kevin Johnston, Brian D Corneil
2019 bioRxiv   pre-print
In situations requiring immediate action, humans can generate visually-guided responses at remarkably short latencies. Here, to better understand the visual attributes that best evoke such rapid responses, we recorded upper limb muscle activity while participants performed visually-guided reaches towards Gabor patches composed of differing spatial frequencies. We studied reaches initiated from a stable posture (experiment 1, a static condition), or during on-line reach corrections to an
more » ... displaced target (experiment 2, a dynamic condition). In both experiments, we detail the latency and prevalence of stimulus-locked responses (SLRs), which are brief bursts of EMG activity that are time-locked to target presentation rather than movement onset. SLRs represent the first wave of EMG recruitment influenced by target presentation, and enable quantification of rapid visuomotor transformations. In both experiments, reach targets composed of low spatial frequencies elicited the shortest latency and most prevalent SLRs, with SLR latency increasing and SLR prevalence decreasing for reach targets composed of progressively higher spatial frequencies. SLRs could be evoked in either the static or dynamic condition, and when present in experiment 2, were associated with shorter latency and larger magnitude corrections. Furthermore, SLRs evolved at shorter latencies (~20 ms) when the arm was already in motion. These results demonstrate that stimuli composed of low spatial frequencies preferentially evoke the most rapid visuomotor responses which, in the context of rapidly correcting an on-going reaching movement, are associated with earlier and larger on-line reach corrections.
doi:10.1101/690354 fatcat:zdhuxyp2tnhbxiienkmv4v5dey