We have recorded eye, head, and upper arm rotations in five healthy human subjects using the three-dimensional search coil technique. Our measurements show that the coordination of eye and head movements during gaze shifts within ± 25 deg relative to the forward direction is organized by restricting the rotatory trajectories of the two systems to almost parallel planes. These so-called "Listing planes" for eye-in-space and head-in-space rotations are workspace-oriented, not body-fixed. Eye and head trajectories in their respective planes are closely related in direction and amplitude. For pointing or grasping, the rotatory trajectories of the arm are also restricted to a workspace-oriented Listing plane. During visually guided movements, arm follows gaze, and the nine-dimensional rotatory configuration space for eye-head-arm-synergies (three degrees of freedom for each system) is reduced to a two-dimensional plane in the space of quaternion vectors.
- Rotatory synergy