Continuously updating one’s predictions underlies successful interception

Eli Brenner, Jeroen B.J. Smeets*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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This paper reviews our understanding of the interception of moving objects. Interception is a demanding task that requires both spatial and temporal precision. The required precision must be achieved on the basis of imprecise and sometimes biased sensory information. We argue that people make precise interceptive movements by continuously adjusting their movements. Initial estimates of how the movement should progress can be quite inaccurate. As the movement evolves, the estimate of how the rest of the movement should progress gradually becomes more reliable as prediction is replaced by sensory information about the progress of the movement. The improvement is particularly important when things do not progress as anticipated. Constantly adjusting one’s estimate of how the movement should progress combines the opportunity to move in a way that one anticipates will best meet the task demands with correcting for any errors in such anticipation. The fact that the ongoing movement might have to be adjusted can be considered when determining how to move, and any systematic anticipation errors can be corrected on the basis of the outcome of earlier actions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3257-3274
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Catching
  • Hitting
  • Human
  • Motion
  • Prediction


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