Rapid Automatic Motor Encoding of Competing Reach Options.
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Gallivan, J., Stewart, B., Baugh, L., Wolpert, D., & Flanagan, J. (2017). Rapid Automatic Motor Encoding of Competing Reach Options.. Cell Reports, 18 (7), 1619-1626. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2017.01.049
Mounting neural evidence suggests that, in situations in which there are multiple potential targets for action, the brain prepares, in parallel, competing movements associated with these targets, prior to implementing one of them. Central to this interpretation is the idea that competing viewed targets, prior to selection, are rapidly and automatically transformed into corresponding motor representations. Here, by applying target-specific, gradual visuomotor rotations and dissociating, unbeknownst to participants, the visual direction of potential targets from the direction of the movements required to reach the same targets, we provide direct evidence for this provocative idea. Our results offer strong empirical support for theories suggesting that competing action options are automatically represented in terms of the movements required to attain them. The rapid motor encoding of potential targets may support the fast optimization of motor costs under conditions of target uncertainty and allow the motor system to inform decisions about target selection.
Funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Wellcome Trust, the Royal Society Noreen Murray Professorship in Neurobiology (to D.M.W.), the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, and the Ontario Innovation Trust supported this study. J.P.G. was supported by an NSERC Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship. B.M.S. was supported by an NSERC graduate scholarship.
Royal Society (RP120142)
Wellcome Trust (097803/Z/11/Z)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2017.01.049
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/266530
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/