Representations of movement and representations in movement

Behavioral Brain Science - 1994-01-01Pellizzer G, Georgopoulos AP
Marc Jeannerod champions the cognitive approach to motor control from an innovative perspective. In his target article he appraises the role of mental representations in the preparation and control of movement by considering studies on mental imagery. Although this may seem odd at first, this strategy provides significant advances into the understanding of the role of mental representation in the control of movement. In recent work we applied a strategy akin to the one advocated by Jeannerod, namely, we used mental imagery paradigms to study properties of representations of movement (Pellizzer & Georgopoulos 1993a). In this commentary we would like to present some studies on mental transformations of the intended direction of movement. Moreover, we would like to show that this strategy can give information on properties of motor representations not only at a "macroscopic" level (e.g., movement time), as in the examples presented in the target article, but also at a "microscopic" level (e.g., kinematics).