Illusion of sense of self-agency: Discrepancy between the predicted and actual sensory consequences of actions modulates the sense of self-agency, but not the sense of self-ownership

Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, The University of Tokyo Hospital, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan.
Cognition (Impact Factor: 3.63). 01/2005; 94(3):241-255. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2004.04.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is proposed that knowledge of motor commands is used to distinguish self-generated sensation from externally generated sensation. In this paper, we show that the sense of self-agency, that is the sense that I am the one who is generating an action, largely depends on the degree of discrepancy resulting from comparison between the predicted and actual sensory feedback. In Experiment 1, the sense of self-agency was reduced when the presentation of the tone was unpredictable in terms of timing and its frequency, although in fact the tone was self-produced. In Experiment 2, the opposite case was found to occur. That is, participants experienced illusionary sense of self-agency when the externally generated sensations happened to match the prediction made by forward model. In Experiment 3, the sense of self-agency was reduced when there was a discrepancy between the predicted and actual sensory consequences, regardless of presence or absence of a discrepancy between the intended and actual consequences of actions. In all the experiments, a discrepancy between the predicted and actual feedback had no effects on sense of self-ownership, that is the sense that I am the one who is undergoing an experience. These results may suggest that both senses of self are mutually independent.

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Available from: Atsushi Sato, Aug 29, 2015
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    • "If an action is self-initiated, it has to happen before the sensory consequence (temporal priority principle; Wegner and Wheatley, 1999). In addition, the SoA decreases with an increasing sensory delay between action and effect (Dewey and Carr, 2013; Ebert and Wegner, 2010; Farrer et al., 2013; Haggard et al., 2002; Moore et al., 2009; Sato and Yasuda, 2005; Weiss et al., 2014). Generally, to be contingent with a causal interpretation, a sensory event has to occur relatively shortly after the action. "
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    ABSTRACT: The sense of agency, i.e., the feeling that one׳s action is the cause of an external sensory event, involves causal inference based on the predicted sensory outcome of a motor act. Here, we investigated whether this inference process faithfully implements the physical principle that a cause (motor act) temporally precedes its effect (external sensory feedback). To this end, we presented participants with visual flashes that were temporally offset from voluntary button presses, including scenarios where the flash occurred shortly before the press. Participants then judged their experience of agency. As expected, cause-effect order is an important cue for this task: participants were far more likely to report agency for temporally lagging flashes than for leading flashes, even if very long sensory delays also disrupted the sense of agency (Experiment 1). This suggests that the temporal order between action and sensation is the dominant temporal cue for agency. However, when participants judged whether they had caused a first flash that occurred before the button press or a second flash that occurred afterwards, the temporal threshold for rejecting leading first flashes was relaxed proportionally to the delay of the second flash (Experiment 2). There was competition between different sensorimotor timing cues (temporal order favored the second flash and temporal proximity favored the first flash), and participants׳ tolerance for cause-effect inversions was modulated by the strength of the later, conflicting cue. We conclude that the perceived order of action and sensation is not used in a winner-take-all fashion in inference of agency. Instead, a probabilistic negotiation of the different timing cues favoring different flash events takes place postdictively, after presentation of the second flash.
    Neuropsychologia 12/2014; 65:191–196. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.10.011 · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    • "This forms a highly critical difference between the presented experiment and the work of Ogawa et al. (2012), where direct mapping of body movements was performed. The relationship between body ownership (this is my body that is moving) and agency (I am responsible for moving my body) has been the subject of important recent study (Kalckert & Ehrsson, 2012; Sato & Yasuda, 2005; Tsakiris, Schütz-Bosbach, & Gallagher, 2007). "
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    Presence Teleoperators &amp Virtual Environments 10/2014; 23(3):242-252. DOI:10.1162/PRES_a_00192 · 0.91 Impact Factor
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    • "Sense of agency can be measured directly and indirectly (Haggard and Tsakiris, 2009). Direct measures of sense of agency are usually obtained via self-reports in terms of judgments of agency on a predefined rating scale (e.g., Wegner et al., 2004; Sato and Yasuda, 2005; Wenke et al., 2010). Obviously, these measures draw on reflective aspects of sense of agency that are available to introspection. "
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    ABSTRACT: The subjective experience of controlling events in the environment alters the perception of these events. For instance, the interval between one's own actions and their consequences is subjectively compressed-a phenomenon known as intentional binding. In two experiments, we studied intentional binding in a social setting in which actions of one agent prompted a second agent to perform another action. Participants worked in pairs and were assigned to a "leader" and a "follower" role, respectively. The leader's key presses triggered (after a variable interval) a tone and this tone served as go signal for the follower to perform a keypress as well. Leaders and followers estimated the interval between the leader's keypress and the following tone, or the interval between the tone and the follower's keypress. The leader showed reliable intentional binding for both intervals relative to the follower's estimates. These results indicate that human agents experience a pre-reflective sense of agency for genuinely social consequences of their actions.
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