Tactile suppression in goal-directed movement.
Juravle G., Binsted G., Spence C.
Sharing numerous characteristics with suppression in the other senses, tactile suppression is a reliable phenomenon that accompanies movement. By investigating the simplest of movements (e.g., finger flexions), early research tried to explain the origins of the phenomenon in terms of motor command generation together with sensory reafference. Here, we review recent research that has delved into (naturalistic) goal-directed movements. In connection with goal-directed movement, tactile suppression is evident as a decrease in behavioural performance measured shortly prior to, and during, movement execution. It is also reflected in a consistent response bias highlighting the (perceptual) uncertainty of the movement. Goal-directed movement supports the forward model and establishes contextual influences as the defining influences on tactile suppression. Depending on the task at hand, people prioritize a certain percept during movement. Future research, we argue, should focus on studying naturalistic movements, or sequences of movements, that share a common meaning or goal.