The target article (Smeets, Oostwoud Wijdenes, & Brenner, 2016) proposes that short latency responses to changes in target location during reaching reflect an unconscious, continuous, and incremental minimization of the distance between the hand and the target, which does not require detection of the change in target location. We, instead, propose that short-latency visuomotor responses invoke reflex- or startle-like mechanisms, an idea supported by evidence that such responses are both automatic and resistant to cognitive influences. In addition, the target article fails to address the biological underpinnings for the range of response latencies reported across the literature, including the circuits that might underlie the proposed sensorimotor loops. When considering the range of latencies reported in the literature, we propose that mechanisms grounded in neurophysiology should be more informative than the simple information processing perspective adopted by the target article.
Sainburg is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park Pennsylvania. Mutha is with the Dept. of Biological Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, VGEC Complex Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.
Address author correspondence to Robert L. Sainburg at firstname.lastname@example.org.