Prediction in the Vestibular Control of Arm Movements

Multisens Res. 2015;28(5-6):487-505. doi: 10.1163/22134808-00002501.


The contribution of vestibular signals to motor control has been evidenced in postural, locomotor, and oculomotor studies. Here, we review studies showing that vestibular information also contributes to the control of arm movements during whole-body motion. The data reviewed suggest that vestibular information is used by the arm motor system to maintain the initial hand position or the planned hand trajectory unaltered during body motion. This requires integration of vestibular and cervical inputs to determine the trunk motion dynamics. These studies further suggest that the vestibular control of arm movement relies on rapid and efficient vestibulomotor transformations that cannot be considered automatic. We also reviewed evidence suggesting that the vestibular afferents can be used by the brain to predict and counteract body-rotation-induced torques (e.g., Coriolis) acting on the arm when reaching for a target while turning the trunk.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arm / physiology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth / physiology*