Send to

Choose Destination
Behav Neurol. 2008;19(3):117-25.

Accurate reaching after active but not passive movements of the hand: evidence for forward modeling.

Author information

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Converging behavioral findings support recent models of motor control suggesting that estimates of the future positions of a limb as well as the expected sensory consequences of a planned movement may be derived, in part, from efference copies of motor commands. These estimates are referred to as forward models. However, relatively little behavioral evidence has been obtained for proposed forward models that provide on-line estimates of current position. We report data from a patient (JD) who reached accurately to visualized targets with and without vision of her hand despite substantial proprioceptive loss. Additionally, we administered a double-start reaching test to examine the possibility that efference copy information could be used to estimate current limb position. JD reached accurately, without vision, to a final target after actively reaching to a landmark, but exhibited severely impaired reaching after passive movements to the landmark. This finding suggests that forward modeling of efference copy signals may provide relatively accurate estimates of current limb position for the purpose of motor planning. The possibility that such estimates may also contribute to the awareness of body position and to self-recognition is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center