The role of sensory information in motor control has been studied, but the cortical processing underlying cross-modal relationship between visual and somatosensory information for movement execution remains a matter of debate. Visual estimates of limb positions are congruent with proprioceptive estimates under normal visual conditions, but a mismatch between the watched and felt movement of the hand disrupts motor execution. We investigated whether activation in somatosensory areas was affected by the discordance between the intended and an executed action. Subjects performed self-paced thumb movement of the left hand under normal visual and mirror conditions. The Mirror condition provided a non-veridical and unexpected visual feedback. The results showed activity in the primary somatosensory area to be inhibited and activity in the secondary somatosensory area (SII) to be enhanced with voluntary movement, and neural responses in the SII and parietal cortex were strongly affected by the unexpected visual feedback. These results provide evidence that the visual information plays a crucial role in activation in somatosensory areas during motor execution. A mechanism that monitors sensory inputs and motor outputs congruent with current intension is necessary to control voluntary movement. © 2011.
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