Probabilistic inference in human sensorimotor processing

Konrad P. Körding, Daniel M. Wolpert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


When we learn a new motor skill, we have to contend with both the variability inherent in our sensors and the task. The sensory uncertainty can be reduced by using information about the distribution of previously experienced tasks. Here we impose a distribution on a novel sensorimotor task and manipulate the variability of the sensory feedback. We show that subjects internally represent both the distribution of the task as well as their sensory uncertainty. Moreover, they combine these two sources of information in a way that is qualitatively predicted by optimal Bayesian processing. We further analyze if the subjects can represent multimodal distributions such as mixtures of Gaussians. The results show that the CNS employs probabilistic models during sensorimotor learning even when the priors are multimodal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems 16 - Proceedings of the 2003 Conference, NIPS 2003
PublisherNeural information processing systems foundation
ISBN (Print)0262201526, 9780262201520
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004
Event17th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NIPS 2003 - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: Dec 8 2003Dec 13 2003

Publication series

NameAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
ISSN (Print)1049-5258


Other17th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NIPS 2003
CityVancouver, BC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing

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