Rendiconti Lincei

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 191–201 | Cite as

Callosal pathways for simple visuomotor control in man.

  • Giovanni Berlucchi
  • Giancarlo Tassinari
  • Salvatore Aglioti


Subjects with complete defects of the corpus callosum, whether congenital or acquired, are very slow in reacting with each hand to a stimulus in the ipsilateral half of the visual field. This is due to the fact that, because of the organization of visual and motor pathways, the hemisphere receiving the stimulus is different from that controlling the response. The interhemispheric transfer necessary for performing the response, which normally is effected by the corpus callosum, must rely in the acallosal subjects on inefficient interhemispheric extracallosal pathways. However patients with complete callosal defects do not show abnormally long crossed responses when they react to the lateralized light stimulus with a whole-arm movement,e.g. a shoulder elevation, rather than with the sole hand. These types of crossed responses appear to be efficiently coordinated across the midline without the aid of the corpus callosum,i.e. by a bilaterally distributed motor system which is preferentially activated for the execution of movements employing axial and proximal limb muscles. Subjects with partial callosal defects do not show any increase in the reaction time of crossed manual responses, suggesting that the intact callosal routes can subserve the integration of speeded crossed manual responses. Bilateral synchronization of hand and arm movements may utilize the corpus callosum as well as other substrates for cross-midline motor coordination.

Key words

Visuomotor integration Interhemispheric communication Callosotomy in man Callosal agenesis Reaction time 

Vie callosali per il controllo visuomotorio di risposte semplici nell’uomo.


Soggetti con assenza completa del corpo calloso, congenita od acquisita, reagiscono in modo abnormemente lento con ciascuna mano a stimoli visivi presentati nell’emicampo ipsilaterale alla mano che risponde. Ciò è dovuto al fatto ehe per 1’organizzazione delle vie visive e delle vie motorie, queste risposte richiedono una interazione ira l’emisfero che riceve lo stimolo e quellu che controlla la risposta. L’interazione, che normalmente è effettuata rapidamente dal corpo calloso, in assenza di questa struttura awiene molto più lentamente per opera di meno efficienti connessioni interemisferiche, non callosali. Tuttavia nei pazienti totalmente privi di corpo calloso i tempi di reazione di risposte a stimoli lateralizzati eseguite con muscoli assiali dell’arto, ad esempio una elevazione della spalla, anziehé un movimento délia sola mano, non sono abnormemente prolungati. È chiaro che questi tipi di risposta possono essere controllati efficientemente, senza l’aiuto del corpo calloso, da un sistema motorio distribuito bilateralmente che si attiva preferenzialmente durante l’esecuzione di movimenti utilizzanti muscoli prossimali e assiali dell’arto. Soggetti con difetti parziali del corpo calloso non mostrano anormalità del tempo di reazione delle risposte manuali crociate. Ciò suggerisce la possibilità che le connessioni callosali residue possano mediare risposte crociate normalmente rapide. La sincronizzazione bilaterale di movimenti delle mani e delle braccia può utilizzare il corpo calloso e altri substrati per la coordinazione motoria attraverso la linea mediana.


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Copyright information

© Accademia nazionale dei Lincei 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Berlucchi
    • 1
  • Giancarlo Tassinari
    • 1
  • Salvatore Aglioti
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Neurologiche e della VisioneSezione di Fisioiogia Umana Università degli Studi di VeronaVerona

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