Modelling the control of interceptive actions

P.J. Beek, J.C. Dessing, C.E. Peper, D. Bullock

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    In recent years, several phenomenological dynamical models have been formulated that describe how perceptual variables are incorporated in the control of motor variables. We call these short-route models as they do not address how perception-action patterns might be constrained by the dynamical properties of the sensory, neural and musculoskeletal subsystems of the human action system. As an alternative, we advocate a long-route modelling approach in which the dynamics of these subsystems are explicitly addressed and integrated to reproduce interceptive actions. The approach is exemplified through a discussion of a recently developed model for interceptive actions consisting of a neural network architecture for the online generation of motor outflow commands, based on time-to-contact information and information about the relative positions and velocities of hand and ball. This network is shown to be consistent with both behavioural and neurophysiological data. Finally, some problems are discussed with regard to the question of how the motor outflow commands (i.e. the intended movement) might be modulated in view of the musculoskeletal dynamics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1511-1523
    JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Biological Sciences
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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