Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Neuroscience

pp 889-889

Corollary Discharge


A term coined by Roger Sperry in 1950, who studied the opto-motor response in fish. It states that any eye motion that will cause displacement of the visual image on the retina will have “a corollary discharge into the visual centers to compensate for retinal displacement.” This allows the animal to determine whether image motions on the retina were caused by movements of the object or by eye movements of the animal itself. The same principle was simultaneously and independently discovered by Erich von Holst and Mittelstaedt termed “efference copy.” Specifically, the term refers to internal neural correlates of the descending motor command that are involved in the perception of force and in the decoding of muscle spindle responses. Also, in mormyrids, the electric organ corollary discharge (EOCD) is an internal reference of the timing of electric organ discharge (EOD) production.

Auditory-Motor Interactions

Proprioception:​ Role of Muscle Receptors

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