Larrivee D (2019) Meaning and Agency in Biological Autonomy: The Motor Image in Self Integration. Int J Depress Anxiety 2:011.


© 2019 Larrivee D. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

REVIEW ARTICLE | OPEN ACCESSDOI: 10.23937/ijda-2017/1710011

Meaning and Agency in Biological Autonomy: The Motor Image in Self Integration

Denis Larrivee*

Loyola University Chicago, USA; University of Navarra Medical School, Spain


Understanding the physical basis for mediating personal integration constitutes an important domain of investigation for physical and mental health. Among its singular determinants are behavioral influences that plastically shape integration through motor plans and executed movements, and which also fundamentally contribute to cognition. A key requirement of the motor plan is that of framing motions in the context of an agent, where the body is appropriated as an origin of action emergence. Embodied, motor actions propel the consumption of free energy reserves needed to sustain organismal operation in its entirety thereby driving global integration. Free energy influences, however, track energy use homeostatically and are motivationally agnostic with respect to goal selection, suggesting that their influence on integration is broadly systemic and nonspecific. Current research indicates, nonetheless, that the motor plan is teleologically oriented and that motor behaviors are structured uniquely in the context of specific goals. Such goal specific information does not appear to be contained in the action identification processes of the motor plan, however, but instead appears to be bound to the self representation, which is neurally coded in the context of the body. Neural correlates for behavioral integration are thus likely to include two separate and independently engaged global mechanisms: a) A non-specific, bottom up influence associated with enhancing energy efficiency, and b) A goal specific, top down influence that is autonomously executed. The physical instantiation of such strategies likely reflects a metaphysical need for increasing behavioral range that can be autonomously accessed, and has a positive bearing on existential psychology.