Muscular Proprioception Contributes to the Control of Interceptive Actions

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Abstract

The authors proposed a model of the control of interceptive action over a ground plane (Chardenon, Montagne, Laurent, & Bootsma, 2004). This model is based on the cancellation of the rate of change of the angle between the current position of the target and the direction of displacement (i.e., the bearing angle). While several sources of visual information specify this angle, the contribution of proprioceptive information has not been directly tested. In this study, the authors used a virtual reality setup to study the role of proprioception when intercepting a moving target. In a series of experiments, the authors manipulated proprioceptive information by using the tendon vibration paradigm. The results revealed that proprioception is crucial not only to locate a moving target with respect to the body but also, and more importantly, to produce online displacement velocity changes to intercept a moving target. These findings emphasize the importance of proprioception in the control of interceptive action and illustrate the relevance of our model to account for the regulations produced by the participants.

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