We discuss a new framework for understanding the structure of motor control. Our approach integrates existing models of motor control with the reality of hierarchical cortical processing and the parallel segregated loops that characterize cortical–subcortical connections. We also incorporate the recent claim that cortex functions via predictive representation and optimal information utilization. Our framework assumes that each cortical area engaged in motor control generates a predictive model of a different aspect of motor behavior. In maintaining these predictive models, each area interacts with a different part of the cerebellum and BG. These subcortical areas are thus engaged in domain-appropriate system identification and optimization. This refocuses the question of division of function among different cortical areas. What are the different aspects of motor behavior that are predictively modeled? We suggest that one fundamental division is between modeling of task and body whereas another is the model of state and action. Thus, we propose that the posterior parietal cortex, somatosensory cortex, premotor cortex, and motor cortex represent task state, body state, task action, and body action, respectively. In the second part of this review, we demonstrate how this division of labor can better account for many recent findings of movement encoding, especially in the premotor and posterior parietal cortices.

You do not currently have access to this content.