Developmental lesions of visual cortex influence control of reaching

Warren G. Darling, Matthew Rizzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We examined visually guided reaching movements in a young adult (EW) who had extensive bilateral lesions in the visual cortex since birth. EW lacked a right occipital lobe and ventral portions of the left and had poor visual acuity (3/400), yet could point to visual targets as quickly as 9 controls with visual cortex lesions acquired in adulthood and 4 adults without neurological disease. However, EW's endpoint variability and hand movement path curvature were much greater, especially for left hand movements, in concert with large sensorimotor transformation errors. Experimental reduction of acuity (to 3/240 or worse) in the normal controls produced symmetric increases in endpoint variability but did not change hand path curvature, indicating that EW's impaired movements were not due to poor vision alone. Results suggest that visual cortex in early life supports the development of lifelong neural mechanisms for the planning and control of reaching movements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-351
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Development
  • Lesion
  • Occipital lobe
  • Reaching
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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