Jeannerod's target article describes support, through empirical and neurological findings, for the intriguing idea of motor imagery, a form of representation hypothesized to have levels of functional equivalence with motor preparation, while being consciously accessible. Jeannerod suggests that the subjectively accessible content of motor imagery allows it to be distinguished from motor preparation, which is unconscious. Motor imagery is distinguished from visual imagery in terms of content. Motor images are kinesthetic in nature; they are parametrized by variables such as force (...) and time and they are potentially governed by kinematic rules. Jeannerod acknowledges, however, that motor and visual imagery may not easily be separated, because actions take place in a spatial environment. I agree; in fact, I suggest here that visualization may generally be concomitant with, and may even subjectively dominate, motor imagery. (shrink)
Our model of haptic object recognition points to the importance of material, as well as geometric properties of objects. Collectively, these can elicit a recognition response after an initial contact, without sequential exploration. This model suggests a revision of the authors' proposals, which takes into account an individual's intention and the extent of exploratory movement.
Humans' spatial representations enable navigation and reaching to targets above the ground plane, even without direct perceptual support. Such abilities are inconsistent with an impoverished representation of the third dimension. Features that differentiate humans from most terrestrial animals, including raised eye height and arms dedicated to manipulation rather than locomotion, have led to robust metric representations of volumetric space.