AUTHORS: Perruchoud D, Murray MM, Lefebvre J, Ionta S

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8: 458, June 2014


Performing accurate movements requires preparation, execution, and monitoring mechanisms. The first two are coded by the motor system, the latter by the sensory system. To provide an adaptive neural basis to overt behaviors, motor and sensory information has to be properly integrated in a reciprocal feedback loop. Abnormalities in this sensory-motor loop are involved in movement disorders such as focal dystonia, a hyperkinetic alteration affecting only a specific body part and characterized by sensory and motor deficits in the absence of basic motor impairments. Despite the fundamental impact of sensory-motor integration mechanisms on daily life, the general principles of healthy and pathological anatomic–functional organization of sensory-motor integration remain to be clarified. Based on the available data from experimental psychology, neurophysiology, and neuroimaging, we propose a bio-computational model of sensory-motor integration: the Sensory-Motor Integrative Loop for Enacting (SMILE). Aiming at direct therapeutic implementations and with the final target of implementing novel intervention protocols for motor rehabilitation, our main goal is to provide the information necessary for further validating the SMILE model. By translating neuroscientific hypotheses into empirical investigations and clinically relevant questions, the prediction based on the SMILE model can be further extended to other pathological conditions characterized by impaired sensory-motor integration.

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