In an attempt to elucidate the neural circuitry of planning of internally guided voluntary action, Ariani et al. (2015) used a delayed-movement design and multivariate pattern analysis of functional MRI data and found areas decoding internally elicited action plans, stimulus-elicited action plans, and both types of plans. In interpreting their results in the context of a heuristic decision model of voluntary action, encompassing “what” action to perform, “when” to perform it, and “whether” to perform it at all, we highlight at least some neural dissociation of these components. More to that, we note that the exact neural circuitry of each component might vary depending on the performed action type, and finally, we underscore the importance of understanding the temporal specifics of such circuitries to further elucidate how they are involved and interact during voluntary action planning.
- Motor planning
- Multivariate pattern analysis
- Voluntary action