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Naturalistic approaches to sensorimotor control-Chapter 1

Elsevier Science & Technology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/b978-0-444-53752-2.00016-3
  • Human Sensorimotor Control
  • Natural Tasks
  • Natural Behavior
  • Movement Statistics
  • Movement Kinematics
  • Object Manipulation
  • Tool Use
  • Psychology


Abstract Human sensorimotor control has been predominantly studied using fixed tasks performed under laboratory conditions. This approach has greatly advanced our understanding of the mechanisms that integrate sensory information and generate motor commands during voluntary movement. However, experimental tasks necessarily restrict the range of behaviors that are studied. Moreover, the processes studied in the laboratory may not be the same processes that subjects call upon during their everyday lives. Naturalistic approaches thus provide an important adjunct to traditional laboratory-based studies. For example, wearable self-contained tracking systems can allow subjects to be monitored outside the laboratory, where they engage spontaneously in natural everyday behavior. Similarly, advances in virtual reality technology allow laboratory-based tasks to be made more naturalistic. Here, we review naturalistic approaches, including perspectives from psychology and visual neuroscience, as well as studies and technological advances in the field of sensorimotor control.

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