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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2015 Aug;33:16-24. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2014.12.009. Epub 2015 Jan 10.

Skilled forelimb movements and internal copy motor circuits.

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Departments of Neuroscience and Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Kavli Institute for Brain Science, Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States. Electronic address:
Department of Integrative Medical Biology, Section of Physiology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. Electronic address:


Mammalian skilled forelimb movements are remarkable in their precision, a feature that emerges from the continuous adjustment of motor output. Here we discuss recent progress in bridging the gap between theory and neural implementation in understanding the basis of forelimb motor refinement. One influential theory is that feedback from internal copy motor pathways enables fast prediction, through a forward model of the limb, an idea supported by behavioral studies that have explored how forelimb movements are corrected online and can adapt to changing conditions. In parallel, neural substrates of forelimb internal copy pathways are coming into clearer focus, in part through the use of genetically tractable animal models to isolate spinal and cerebellar circuits and explore their contributions to movement.

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