06.12.2021

We are proposing a program which will be delivered by leading scientists, from Israel and abroad, in the field of "Multisensory integration in action" as a Bat Sheva de Rothschild Seminar.

The ultimate manifestation of behavior is through movement, and execution of goal-directed actions. Not only complex behaviors such as locomotion, feeding, communication, or emotional expressions but also apparently simple movements like flicking the hand to shoo a fly, are the consequence of cognitive mechanisms which require formulating a desired consequence, planning, and motor control which requires constant evaluation and error correction. Consequently, understanding the principles underlying our ability to perceive, understand, plan and generate goal directed movements is a fundamental research question in Cognitive Neuroscience.

While a roadmap of the neural mechanisms underlying perception exists (from on/off cells, orientation columns, motion/color/and object selective regions in the visual pathway from the retina to temporal/parietal regions), an equivalent roadmap in the motor domain is still rudimentary. At the same time the interaction between communities studying neural mechanisms of human perception, and those studying motor control is limited, with largely separate dedicated meetings (e.g. VSS and NCM). Case in point, researchers in the motor control community mostly use sensory signals (auditory/visual) as a means (cue) to trigger movement (which is their primary measure of interest) while researchers in the perception community mostly use motor output (e.g. key press) simply as a means for reporting perception (which is their primary measure of interest.

Thus, although the interaction between perception and action is fundamental to behavior, the underlying neural mechanisms remain largely unknown.

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