Good vibrations? Vibrotactile self-stimulation reveals anticipation of body-related action effects in motor control
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- Pfister, R., Janczyk, M., Gressmann, M. et al. Exp Brain Res (2014) 232: 847. doi:10.1007/s00221-013-3796-6
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Previous research suggests that motor actions are intentionally generated by recollecting their sensory consequences. Whereas this has been shown to apply to visual or auditory consequences in the environment, surprisingly little is known about the contribution of immediate, body-related consequences, such as proprioceptive and tactile reafferences. Here, we report evidence for a contribution of vibrotactile reafferences to action selection by using a response–effect compatibility paradigm. More precisely, anticipating actions to cause spatially incompatible vibrations delayed responding to a small but reliable degree. Whereas this observation suggests functional equivalence of body-related and environment-related reafferences to action control, the future application of the described experimental procedure might reveal functional peculiarities of specific types of sensory consequences in action control.