Chapter

Forecasting the Long-range Consequences of Manual and Tool Use Actions

Scott H. Frey

in Motor Control

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195395273
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199863518 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395273.003.0013
Forecasting the Long-range Consequences of Manual and Tool Use Actions

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The ability to forecast the likely consequences of our actions accurately is an important component of adaptive behavior that has been approached from several distinct theoretical perspectives. Relatively little, however, is known about the neural mechanisms involved in generating these predictions. This chapter focuses on recent work concerning the prospective selection of grasping actions. Even in the complete absence of movement, results suggest that determining how to engage an object with the hands or a recently mastered tool increases activity in parietal and premotor areas known to participate in the sensorimotor control of grasp. One possibility is that these brain regions, along with the cerebellum, are involved in generating long-range forecasts of the sensory consequences of movements when motor commands are inhibited. The chapter considers modifications to putative feedforward mechanisms involved in motor control that might extend their temporal range, and the potential implications of this hypothesis for our understanding the relationship between affordance perception and motor imagery.

Keywords: forecast; grasping actions; hand; tools; long-range forecasts; perception; motor imagery

Chapter.  7565 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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