Whereas ideomotor approaches to action control emphasize the importance of sensory action effects for action selection, motivational approaches emphasize the role of affective action effects. We used a game-like experimental setup to directly compare the roles of sensory and affective action effects in selecting and performing reaching actions in forced- and free-choice tasks. The two kinds of action effects did not interact. Action selection and execution in the forced-choice task were strongly impacted by the spatial compatibility between actions and the expected sensory action effects, whereas the free-choice task was hardly affected. In contrast, action execution, but not selection, in both tasks was strongly impacted by the spatial compatibility between actions and highly valued action effects. This pattern suggests that sensory and affective action effects serve different purposes: The former seem to dominate rule-based action selection, whereas the latter might serve to reduce any remaining action uncertainty.
- cognitive control
- motor plannin/programming
- stimulus-response compatibility