Recent neural and behavioral findings provide support for the influential idea that in situations in which multiple action options are presented simultaneously, we prepare action plans for each competing option before deciding between and executing one of those plans. However, in natural, everyday environments, our available action options frequently change from one moment to the next, and there is often uncertainty as to whether additional options will become available before having to select a particular course of action. Here, with the use of a target-directed reaching task, we show that in this situation, the brain specifies a competing action for each new, sequentially presented potential target and that recently formed action plans can be revisited and updated so as to conform with separate, more newly developed, plans. These findings indicate that the brain forms labile motor plans for sequentially arising target options that can be flexibly restructured to accommodate new motor plans.
- motor planning
- working memory
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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