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Multisensory Control of Movement$
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Alain Berthoz

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198547853

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198547853.001.0001

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The dynamic memory model and the control of fast orienting movements

The dynamic memory model and the control of fast orienting movements

(p.255) 17 The dynamic memory model and the control of fast orienting movements
Multisensory Control of Movement

Jacques Droulez

Alain Berthoz

Oxford University Press

The purpose of this chapter is to describe a theory concerning some of the neuronal operations involved in motor programming. Although this theory can be applied to movements in general, it is detailed for a particular type of behavior: visually triggered orienting movements, which have been extensively studied during the past two decades. The generation of movements can be conceptually decomposed into three steps: (1) the specification of the goal, (2) the generation of the central command, and (3) the generation of the motor activity profile during movement execution. The goal is specified as a target position with respect to the head, from which is issued a central command, expressed as the desired final eye position. Subsequent comparison with actual eye position provides motor error, which is transformed into an eye velocity command by the saccadic pulse generator. Finally, the activity in motoneurones results from the summation of this eye-velocity signal and its temporal integration into instantaneous eye position. The central question of sensorimotor control is the nature of the internal representation in which the brain codes the relevant physical variables, such as position, velocity, and motor state. Since sensors and muscles operate in very different frames of reference, a subsidiary question is how and at what level the necessary spatio-temporal transformations are performed.

Keywords:   sensorimotor control, neuronal operations, motoneurones, spatio-temporal transformations, saccadic pulse generator, eye-velocity command

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