Neurocognitive mechanisms of perception-action coordination: a review and theoretical integration

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014 Oct:46 Pt 1:3-29. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.05.008. Epub 2014 May 24.


The present analysis aims at a theoretical integration of, and a systems-neuroscience perspective on, a variety of historical and contemporary views on perception-action coordination (PAC). We set out to determine the common principles or lawful linkages between sensory and motor systems that explain how perception is action-oriented and how action is perceptually guided. To this end, we analyze the key ingredients to such an integrated framework, examine the architecture of dual-system conjectures of PAC, and endeavor in an historical analysis of the key characteristics, mechanisms, and phenomena of PACs. This analysis will reveal that dual-systems views are in need of fundamental re-thinking, and its elements will be amalgamated with current views on action-oriented predictive processing into a novel integrative theoretical framework (IMPPACT: Impetus, Motivation, and Prediction in Perception-Action Coordination theory). From this framework and its neurocognitive architecture we derive a number of non-trivial predictions regarding conative, motive-driven PAC. We end by presenting a brief outlook on how IMPPACT might present novel insights into certain pathologies and into action expertise.

Keywords: Appraisal; Conation; Dual systems; Impetus; Impulsive action; Intuitive action; Motivation; Perception–action coordination; Prediction; Valuation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Motivation / physiology*
  • Nervous System Physiological Phenomena*
  • Perception / physiology*