Based on theoretical and computational studies it has been suggested that the central nervous system (CNS) internally simulates the behaviour of the motor system in planning, control and learning. Such an internal "forward" model is a representation of the motor system that uses the current state of the motor system and motor command to predict the next state. We will outline the uses of such internal models for solving several fundamental computational problems in motor control and then review the evidence for their existence and use by the CNS. Finally we speculate how the location of an internal model within the CNS may be identified. Copyright 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd.