The complexity of eye-hand coordination: a perspective on cortico-cerebellar cooperation

John Ross Rizzo, Mahya Beheshti, Tahereh Naeimi, Farnia Feiz, Girish Fatterpekar, Laura J. Balcer, Steven L. Galetta, Aasef G. Shaikh, Janet C. Rucker, Todd E. Hudson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Eye–hand coordination (EHC) is a sophisticated act that requires interconnected processes governing synchronization of ocular and manual motor systems. Precise, timely and skillful movements such as reaching for and grasping small objects depend on the acquisition of high-quality visual information about the environment and simultaneous eye and hand control. Multiple areas in the brainstem and cerebellum, as well as some frontal and parietal structures, have critical roles in the control of eye movements and their coordination with the head. Although both cortex and cerebellum contribute critical elements to normal eye-hand function, differences in these contributions suggest that there may be separable deficits following injury. Method: As a preliminary assessment for this perspective, we compared eye and hand-movement control in a patient with cortical stroke relative to a patient with cerebellar stroke. Result: We found the onset of eye and hand movements to be temporally decoupled, with significant decoupling variance in the patient with cerebellar stroke. In contrast, the patient with cortical stroke displayed increased hand spatial errors and less significant temporal decoupling variance. Increased decoupling variance in the patient with cerebellar stroke was primarily due to unstable timing of rapid eye movements, saccades. Conclusion: These findings highlight a perspective in which facets of eye-hand dyscoordination are dependent on lesion location and may or may not cooperate to varying degrees. Broadly speaking, the results corroborate the general notion that the cerebellum is instrumental to the process of temporal prediction for eye and hand movements, while the cortex is instrumental to the process of spatial prediction, both of which are critical aspects of functional movement control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14
JournalCerebellum and Ataxias
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Cerebellar stroke
  • Cortical stroke
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Visually-guided reaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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