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Proprioceptive Sensory Feedback

  1. MJ Grey

Published Online: 18 OCT 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0000071.pub2



How to Cite

Grey, M. 2010. Proprioceptive Sensory Feedback. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 OCT 2010


Proprioceptors are sensors that provide information about orientation of the body relative to the body's orientation with respect to gravity, movement of the body relative to the external medium and movements and forces in localised regions of the body. Muscle spindles are primarily responsible for position and movement sense, Golgi tendon organs provide the sense of force and the vestibular system provides the sense of balance. Feedback from proprioceptors feedback is essential for the accurate execution of movement execution. For voluntary limb movements in primates, proprioceptive feedback can regulate the generation of motor command by correcting errors using negative feedback loops; providing timing cues about an ongoing movement to initiate commands required at a later time within a movement sequence; and by providing signals used in the planning of movements by providing information about starting limb position to set parameters of feedforward commands. Proprioceptive feedback is also required to modify motor commands slowly in response to alterations in the biomechanical properties of the limbs.

Key Concepts:

  • Proprioception is a peripherally derived kinaesthetic sense.

  • Position and movement sense is provided by muscle spindles.

  • Muscle tension is sensed by Golgi tendon organs.

  • The centrally derived sense of effort gives information about force and heaviness of objects.

  • Proprioceptors project to the motor cortex via the dorsal columns and to the cerebellum via spinocerebellar tracts.

  • Proprioceptive information is used in the spinal regulation of rhythmic movements.


  • proprioceptors;
  • muscle receptors;
  • motor control;
  • motor programme;
  • reflexes;
  • voluntary movement;
  • walking;
  • locust flight