Precision control for a flexible body representation

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleContributedpeer-review


Adaptive body representation requires the continuous integration of multisensory inputs within a flexible ‘body model’ in the brain. The present review evaluates the idea that this flexibility is augmented by the contextual modulation of sensory processing ‘top-down’; which can be described as precision control within predictive coding formulations of Bayesian inference. Specifically, I focus on the proposal that an attenuation of proprioception may facilitate the integration of conflicting visual and proprioceptive bodily cues. Firstly, I review empirical work suggesting that the processing of visual vs proprioceptive body position information can be contextualised ‘top-down’; for instance, by adopting specific attentional task sets. Building up on this, I review research showing a similar contextualisation of visual vs proprioceptive information processing in the rubber hand illusion and in visuomotor adaptation. Together, the reviewed literature suggests that proprioception, despite its indisputable importance for body perception and action control, can be attenuated top-down (through precision control) to facilitate the contextual adaptation of the brain's body model to novel visual feedback.


Original languageEnglish
Article number104401
Pages (from-to)104401:1–18
JournalNeuroscience & biobehavioral reviews : official journal of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

External IDs

Scopus 85118859687
Mendeley 72a29b0c-70af-3324-9c75-9ca7b9f5bf3d
unpaywall 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.10.023



  • Attention, Attenuation, Body representation, Multisensory integration, Precision