Visual feedback schedules influence visuomotor resistance to the Müller-Lyer figures

Matthew Heath, Christina Rival, Kristina Neely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We examined whether blocked or random visual feedback schedules influence visuomotor resistance to the Müller-Lyer (ML) illusion. Participants completed closed-loop (CL) and open-loop (OL) grasping movements to an object embedded within fins-in and fins-out ML configurations. In the blocked feedback schedule, CL and OL trials were completed in separate blocks of trials, whereas visual conditions were randomly interleaved in the random feedback schedule. The results of the blocked feedback schedule showed that OL, but not CL, trials were influenced in a direction consistent with the perceptual effects of the ML illusion. For the random feedback schedule, however, both CL and OL trials were influenced by the illusion. We have interpreted these results to reflect the fact that participants evoked distinct control strategies based on the predicted availability of visual feedback. Specifically, the refractory nature of CL trials in the blocked feedback schedule suggests that advance knowledge that visual feedback would be available during a response encouraged an online control strategy wherein metrical visual information supported grasping. When visual feedback was unavailable (i.e., blocked OL trials), or could not be predicted in advance of a response (i.e., random CL and OL trials), it is proposed that movements were structured offline via perception-based visual information that was "tricked" by the cognitive properties of the ML illusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-356
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


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