In addition to descending commands to skeletal muscles and an efferent copy to forward models (Figure 1A), there can be independent descending control of γ dynamic (‘γd’) and γ static (‘γs’) spinal motor neurons. The vast majority of efferent projections to spindles are from γ motor (‘fusimotor’) neurons, but there is also some β supply (indicated by the thinner dashed line). Fusimotor control can affect spindle output in the absence of mechanical stimulation (e.g. muscle stretch), but fusimotor activity can also shape spindle responses to direct mechanical stimulation arising from own action or the external environment. ‘*’: γd project only to primary muscle spindles, allowing for differential control of primary and secondary muscle spindles. Electrophysiological studies in mammals have also demonstrated multisensory afferent convergence onto fusimotor neurons. ‘**’: The specific impact of afferent control of fusimotor neurons has not been determined yet in the active human, and may well vary across body segments e.g., stronger in the hand and/or the foot. In this model, joint and cutaneous receptors (and vision) provide consistent/reliable information about actual bodily state, and potentially so do spindles, e.g., if they are predominantly affected by direct mechanical stimulation (as in the case of the passive, unengaged individual). But here, fusimotor activity represents an intermediate coordinate transformation that allows multimodal information to converge on spindles, creating flexible representations at the periphery. So far, spindle tuning has been shown to facilitate load compensation in joint space, the selective extraction of information during motor adaptation, and the independent preparatory adjustment of reflexive muscle stiffness before goal-directed reaching (Figure 2).