It is well established that the cortical processing of somatosensory and auditory signals is attenuated when they result from self-generated actions as compared to external events. This phenomenon is thought to result from an efference copy of motor commands used to predict the sensory consequences of an action through a forward model. The present work examined whether attenuation also takes place for visual reafferent signals from the moving limb during voluntary reaching movements. To address this issue, EEG activity was recorded in a condition in which visual feedback of the hand was provided in real time and compared to a condition in which it was presented with a 150 ms delay, thus creating a mismatch between the predicted and actual visual consequences of the movement. Results revealed that the amplitude of the N1 component of the visual ERP evoked by hand visual feedback over the parietal cortex was significantly smaller when presented in real time as compared to when it was delayed. These data suggest that the cortical processing of visual reafferent signals is attenuated when they are correctly predicted, likely as a result of a forward model.
- visual-evoked potentials
- arm reaching movements
- forward model
- sensory attenuation
- Copyright © 2016, Journal of Neurophysiology