The neural correlates of perceiving one's own movements

Neuroimage. 2003 Dec;20(4):2084-90. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2003.07.033.


Feedforward mechanisms are important for movement control. They may also contribute to the identification of self-produced actions by attenuating the sensory consequences of self-produced movements. In our study, subjects opened and closed their hand slowly and continuously (0.5 Hz). This movement was filmed with an MRI compatible video camera and projected online onto a screen, viewed by the subject while BOLD contrast was measured with fMRI. The temporal delay between movement and feedback was parametrically varied (0-200 ms). In each trial, subjects judged whether there was a delay or not. There was a positive correlation between the extent of the temporal delay and activation in the right posterior superior temporal cortex (pSTS) and a negative correlation in the left putamen. A second analysis addressed the neural correlates of subjective judgement under conditions of uncertainty. This contrast showed a differential activation in the cerebellum. These results support the assumption of a forward model implying that predictions generated in motor areas attenuate sensory areas. They also suggest that efference copy mechanisms are not located within specific brain areas but are implemented as a specific form of interaction between perceptual and motor areas depending on the modalities and the type of actions involved. Further, conscious detection of small temporal deviations might be based on signals generated in the cerebellum which provide fine-grained temporal information. These results might be useful to refine theories about the role of forward mechanisms in the emergence of disorders of the self, such as in schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Basal Ganglia / physiology
  • Cerebellum / physiology
  • Feedback / physiology
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*


  • Oxygen