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Sensorimotor organization of a sustained involuntary movement

De Havas, J; Ghosh, A; Gomi, H; Haggard, P; (2015) Sensorimotor organization of a sustained involuntary movement. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience , 9 , Article 185. 10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00185. Green open access

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Abstract

Involuntary movements share much of the motor control circuitry used for voluntary movement, yet the two can be easily distinguished. The Kohnstamm phenomenon (where a sustained, hard push produces subsequent involuntary arm raising) is a useful experimental model for exploring differences between voluntary and involuntary movement. Both central and peripheral accounts have been proposed, but little is known regarding how the putative Kohnstamm generator responds to afferent input. We addressed this by obstructing the involuntary upward movement of the arm. Obstruction prevented the rising EMG pattern that characterizes the Kohnstamm. Importantly, once the obstruction was removed, the EMG signal resumed its former increase, suggesting a generator that persists despite peripheral input. When only one arm was obstructed during bilateral involuntary movements, only the EMG signal from the obstructed arm showed the effect. Upon release of the obstacle, the obstructed arm reached the same position and EMG level as the unobstructed arm. Comparison to matched voluntary movements revealed a preserved stretch response when a Kohnstamm movement first contacts an obstacle, and also an overestimation of the perceived contact force. Our findings support a hybrid central and peripheral account of the Kohnstamm phenomenon. The strange subjective experience of this involuntary movement is consistent with the view that movement awareness depends strongly on efference copies, but that the Kohnstamm generator does not produces efference copies.

Type: Article
Title: Sensorimotor organization of a sustained involuntary movement
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00185
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00185
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 De Havas, Ghosh, Gomi and Haggard. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: efference copy, involuntary contraction, involuntary movement, motor control, sensory feedback
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1472423
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