Motor control is decision-making

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2012 Dec;22(6):996-1003. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2012.05.003. Epub 2012 May 29.


Motor behavior may be viewed as a problem of maximizing the utility of movement outcome in the face of sensory, motor and task uncertainty. Viewed in this way, and allowing for the availability of prior knowledge in the form of a probability distribution over possible states of the world, the choice of a movement plan and strategy for motor control becomes an application of statistical decision theory. This point of view has proven successful in recent years in accounting for movement under risk, inferring the loss function used in motor tasks, and explaining motor behavior in a wide variety of circumstances.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Efferent Pathways / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*