During visually-guided movement, visual representations of target location must be transformed into coordinates appropriate for movement. To investigate the representation and plasticity of the visuomotor coordinate transformation, we examined the changes in pointing behavior subsequent to local visuomotor remappings. The visual feedback of finger position was limited to one or two locations in the workspace, at which a discrepancy was introduced between the actual and visually-perceived finger position. These remappings induced changes in pointing which were largest near the locus of remapping and decreased away from it. This pattern of spatial generalization highly constrains models of the computation of the visuomotor transformation in the central nervous system. A simple model, in which the transformation is computed via the population activity of a set of units with large sensory receptive fields, is shown to capture the observed pattern.
To appear in Journal of Neuroscience. postscript.