Although action and perception are different behaviors, they are likely to be interrelated, as implied by the notions of perception-action coupling and active sensing. Traditionally, it has been assumed that the nervous system directly preprograms motor commands required for actions and uses a copy of them called efference copy (EC) to also influence our senses. This review offers a critical analysis of the EC concept by identifying its limitations. An alternative to the EC concept is based on the experimentally confirmed notion that sensory signals from receptors are perceived relative to referent signals specified by the brain. These referents also underlie the control of motor actions by predetermining where, in the spatial domain, muscles can work without preprogramming how they should work in terms of motor commands or EC. This approach helps solve several problems of action and explain several sensory experiences, including position sense and the sense that the world remains stationary despite changes in its retinal image during eye or body motion (visual space constancy). The phantom limb phenomenon and other kinesthetic illusions are also explained within this framework.
- position sense
- visual space constancy
- phantom limb
- motor control
- kinesthetic illusions
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
Please sign in below with your personal user name and password.