Visual information is crucial for goal-directed reaching. A number of studies have recently shown that motion in particular is an important source of information for the visuomotor system. For example, when reaching a stationary object, movement of the background can influence the trajectory of the hand, even when the background motion is irrelevant to the object and task. This manual following response may be a compensatory response to changes in body position, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here we tested whether visual motion area MT+ is necessary to generate the manual following response. We found that stimulation of MT+ with transcranial magnetic stimulation significantly reduced a strong manual following response. MT+ is therefore necessary for generating the manual following response, indicating that it plays a crucial role in guiding goal-directed reaching movements by taking into account background motion in scenes.
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