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date: 27 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The visual control of skilled actions, such as reaching and grasping, requires fundamentally different computations from those mediating our perception of the world. These differences in the computational requirements for vision for action and vision for perception are reflected in the organization of the two prominent visual streams of processing that arise from primary visual cortex in the primate brain. Although the ventral stream projecting to inferotemporal cortex mediates the visual processing underlying our visual experience of the world, the dorsal stream projecting to the posterior parietal cortex mediates the visual control of skilled actions. Specialized visual-motor modules have emerged in the posterior parietal cortex for the visual control of eye, hand, and arm movements. Although the identification of goal objects and the selection of an appropriate course of action depend on the perceptual machinery of the ventral stream and associated cognitive modules in the temporal and frontal lobes, the execution of the subsequent goal-directed action is mediated by dedicated online control systems in the dorsal stream and associated motor areas. Ultimately then, both streams work together in the production of goal-directed actions.

Keywords: action, visual-motor control, dorsal stream, ventral stream, two visual streams, grasping, reaching

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