A goal-based mechanism for delayed motor intention: considerations from motor skills, tool use and action memory
Psychol Res
Badets A
Osiurak F

Thinking about our behaviors for a future recall like playing a piano sonata during the next weekend (i.e., delayed motor intention) should engage at some level sensorimotor-based representations. Theoretically, such representations can be stored through both an action- and a goal-based mechanism. An action-based mechanism is related to the specific motor sequence of fingers like the key presses on the piano, and a goal-based mechanism is related to the musical tones generated by the key presses. From these considerations, the present article tries to explore whether the cognitive nature of delayed motor intention is more based on an action or goal mechanism. We reviewed empirical evidence and theoretical accounts of different domains such as motor skills, tool use, and action memory supporting the idea that such delayed motor intentions are rather represented through a goal-based mechanism. The specific role of this goal-based mechanism is to envision the future in an implementation-neutral mode to flexibly and efficiently retrieve an adapted action to environmental constraints. This goal-based account offers an interesting alternative to reshape the classical models about the representations of delayed motor intention. We also discuss how this account can be applied to practical activities in daily life situations.