Gain control in the sensorimotor system

Curr Opin Physiol. 2019 Apr:8:177-187. doi: 10.1016/j.cophys.2019.03.005. Epub 2019 Mar 22.


Coordinated movement depends on constant interaction between neural circuits that produce motor output and those that report sensory consequences. Fundamental to this process are mechanisms for controlling the influence that sensory signals have on motor pathways - for example, reducing feedback gains when they are disruptive and increasing gains when advantageous. Sensory gain control comes in many forms and serves diverse purposes - in some cases sensory input is attenuated to maintain movement stability and filter out irrelevant or self-generated signals, or enhanced to facilitate salient signals for improved movement execution and adaptation. The ubiquitous presence of sensory gain control across species at multiple levels of the nervous system reflects the importance of tuning the impact that feedback information has on behavioral output.

Keywords: gain control; motor corrections; motor output; movement stability; reafference; sensorimotor adaptation; sensory feedback.