What’s the difference between thinking about moving a body part, and actually moving a body part?

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What’s the difference between thinking about moving a body part, and actually moving a body part?

In: Biology
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The difference is that if you’re just thinking about moving a body part, the impulses that would travel down your spine and to the body part in question aren’t ever sent.

I suppose two different types of thought: imagination, vs a command to your muscles.

Imagination is quite limitless, from what we might do immediately to what might take a lifetime to the (seemingly?) impossible

ETA I don’t know any of the science of imagination though! May find related reading looking up phantom limbs

Let’s say I see some fireworks. My eyeballs tell my brain there’s cool stuff going on, and my brain lights up in a certain way. You could measure it, it’s all electric signals.

When I think about those fireworks, my brain mimics the way it lit up when those fireworks were really happening. It mimes the pattern that occurred when my eyes really were telling it fireworks were going off.

If you’re thinking about moving your arm, your brain is mimicking how it would feel if you really did move it. If you move it, the outside world makes you feel those things directly instead of through imagination.