Hand-eye coordination, or eye-hand coordination, is the ability to do activities that require the simultaneous use of our hands and eyes, like an activity that uses the information our eyes perceive (visual spatial perception) to guide our hands to carry out a movement.
*We use our eyes to direct attention to a stimulus and help the brain understand where the body is located in space (self-perception).
*We use our hands to simultaneously carry out a determined task based on the visual information our eyes receive
Eye-hand coordination is a complex cognitive ability, as it calls for us to unite our visual and motor skills, allowing for the hand to be guided by the visual stimulation our eyes receive. Hand-eye coordination is especially important for normal child development and academic success, but is also an important skill that adults use in countless activities on a daily basis.
Most activities that you do in your day-to-day life use some degree of eye-hand coordination, which is why it’s important to ensure that it is as developed as possible. Generally speaking, we use visual information to correct a behavior that isn’t appropriate for a situation, which is one of the reasons why this cognitive skill is so important.
*We use hand-eye coordination whenever we write. As you start making lines, our eyes send visual information to the brain to tell it where the hand is placed and if your handwriting is legible With this information, the brain generates instructions for how the hand has to move in order to create appropriate lines and shapes, resulting in letters. Visual feedback also helps correct erroneous shapes (letters) generated by the previous motor instructions. It is a sequence of fast and precise motor actions that require a certain amount of skill and training.
*A similar sequence takes place when we type on a keyboard. The type of movements are different, but we still use visual information to tell the brain how to guide the hand or if a mistake needs to be corrected.
*When you drive, you are constantly using hand-eye coordination because you have to use the visual information to move your hands on the wheel, keeping the car in the middle of the lane and avoiding accidents.
*Almost every sport requires the use of hand-eye coordination to coordinate what you see with your eyes with the movement if your body. Depending on the sport, either hand-eye coordination (basketball, tennis, football, etc.) or foot-eye coordination (soccer, track, etc.) will be more dominant. Whatever the sport, you can count on the fact that they eye will be coordinating with some part of the body, so a more appropriate term for this type of coordination may simply called motor coordination.
*Putting a key in a lock also uses hand-eye coordination. Similar examples would be when you insert a credit card in a chip reader, or when a child plays with toys with shapes that they have to fit into a certain hole.
Activity to improve eye hand coordination
- Rolling A Ball
- Toss and Catch game
- Threading and Lacing