Uncertainty of hand-state estimate regulates stretch reflex
Reflexive motor control mechanisms are embedded in the brain to unconsciously correct ongoing body movements. They do this by detecting changes in the external world and ones own posture, via sensory signals from eyes and limbs. We investigated the information processing underlying the functional and context-dependent regulation of reflexive responses. We found an interesting attenuation of muscle response to resisting sudden changes in limb movement, which occurred if visual feedback of the limb movement was not given or was distorted. The result suggests that the brain regulates reflexive responses depending on body states estimated by combining multimodal information such as vision and bodily sensations, rather than single modality information as previously thought. We will further explore the computational mechanisms of reflexive sensorimotor control, which may be beneficial to analyzing the performance of athletes or to developing effective sports training methods.
S. Ito, H. Gomi, “Visually-updated hand state estimates modulate the proprioceptive reflex independently of motor task requirements,” eLife, 9:e52380, 2020.
S. Ito, H. Gomi, “Online modulation of proprioceptive reflex gain depending on uncertainty in multisensory state estimation,” in Proc. The Society for Neuroscience 49th Annual Meeting, 2019.