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Two Modes of Sensorimotor Integration in Intention-Based and Stimulus-Based Actions

Abstract : Human actions may be driven endogenously (to produce desired environmental effects) or exogenously (to accommodate to environmental demands). There is a large body of evidence indicating that these two kinds of action are controlled by different neural substrates. However, only little is known about what happens--in functional terms--on these different "routes to action". Ideomotor approaches claim that actions are selected with respect to their perceptual consequences. We report experiments that support the validity of the ideomotor principle and that, at the same time, show that it is subject to a far-reaching constraint: It holds for endogenously driven actions only! Our results suggest that the activity of the two "routes to action" is based on different types of learning: The activity of the system guiding stimulus-based actions is accompanied by stimulus-response (sensorimotor) learning, whereas the activity of the system controlling intention-based actions results in action-effect (ideomotor) learning.
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Arvid Herwig, Wolfgang Prinz, Florian Waszak. Two Modes of Sensorimotor Integration in Intention-Based and Stimulus-Based Actions. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2007, 60 (11), pp.1540-1554. ⟨10.1080/17470210601119134⟩. ⟨hal-02386093⟩

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