Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo

Voluntary Movement

  • Giacomo Rizzolatti
  • Maria Alessandra Umiltà
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_201217

Voluntary movements are manifestations of a centrally generated intention to act. The way in which intention is generated is irrelevant for the notion of voluntary movement. It may result from bodily needs such as hunger or thirst, or from higher order deliberations based on one's own beliefs and desires. What counts for voluntary movements is that the individual has a goal and that this goal determines movements leading to its achievement. Unlike for reflexes, in voluntary behavior stimuli do not determine a motor response, they only set the occasion for it. According to their needs, animals may or may not respond to the same stimulus.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Sezione di FisiologiaUniversità di ParmaParmaItaly