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Mere Expectation to Move Causes Attenuation of Sensory Signals

Voss, M; Ingram, JN; Wolpert, DM; Haggard, P; (2008) Mere Expectation to Move Causes Attenuation of Sensory Signals. PLOS ONE , 3 (8) , Article e2866. 10.1371/journal.pone.0002866. Green open access

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Abstract

When a part of the body moves, the sensation evoked by a probe stimulus to that body part is attenuated. Two mechanisms have been proposed to explain this robust and general effect. First, feedforward motor signals may modulate activity evoked by incoming sensory signals. Second, reafferent sensation from body movements may mask the stimulus. Here we delivered probe stimuli to the right index finger just before a cue which instructed subjects to make left or right index finger movements. When left and right cues were equiprobable, we found attenuation for stimuli to the right index finger just before this finger was cued (and subsequently moved). However, there was no attenuation in the right finger just before the left finger was cued. This result suggests that the movement made in response to the cue caused 'postdictive' attenuation of a sensation occurring prior to the cue. In a second experiment, the right cue was more frequent than the left. We now found attenuation in the right index finger even when the left finger was cued and moved. This attenuation linked to a movement that was likely but did not in fact occur, suggests a new expectation-based mechanism, distinct from both feedforward motor signals and postdiction. Our results suggest a new mechanism in motor-sensory interactions in which the motor system tunes the sensory inputs based on expectations about future possible actions that may not, in fact, be implemented.

Type: Article
Title: Mere Expectation to Move Causes Attenuation of Sensory Signals
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002866
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0002866
Language: English
Additional information: © 2008 Voss et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. This work was supported by the Human Frontiers Science Programme, the Wellcome Trust and the RIKEN Institute. M. Voss was funded by a grant from the German Academic Exchange Programme (DAAD). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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/154467
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