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


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.

Download full-text


Available from: Atsushi Sato
  • Source
    • "In the present study, this comparison process is termed the action-effect comparison. For example, sense of agency increases considerably when there is a match between actual sensory feedback and predictions based on prior experience (Sato and Yasuda, 2005). Further, the comparator model was also able to show that the abnormal sense of agency experienced by schizophrenic patients is linked to difficulty with generating predictions (Cahill et al., 1996;Frith et al., 2000). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sense of agency refers to the subjective feeling of controlling events through one’s behavior or will. Sense of agency results from matching predictions of one’s own actions with actual feedback regarding the action. Furthermore, when an action involves a cued goal, performance-based inference contributes to sense of agency. That is, if people achieve their goal, they would believe themselves to be in control. Previous studies have shown that both action-effect comparison and performance-based inference contribute to sense of agency; however, the dominance of one process over the other may shift based on task conditions such as the presence or absence of specific goals. In this study, we examined the influence of divided attention on these two processes underlying sense of agency in two conditions. In the experimental task, participants continuously controlled a moving dot for 10 s while maintaining a string of three or seven digits in working memory. We found that when there was no cued goal (no-cued-goal condition), sense of agency was impaired by high cognitive load. Contrastingly, when participants controlled the dot based on a cued goal (cued-goal-directed condition), their sense of agency was lower than in the no-cued-goal condition and was not affected by cognitive load. The results suggest that the action-effect comparison process underlying sense of agency requires attention. On the other hand, the weaker influence of divided attention in the cued-goal-directed condition could be attributed to the dominance of performance-based inference, which is probably automatic.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Frontiers in Psychology
    • "Furthermore, mirror viewing during asynchronous tapping resulted in a decreased sense of agency. As agency is thought to be based on congruence between predicted and observed sensory states (Farrer & Frith, 2002; Sato & Yasuda, 2005), the mismatch caused by the discrepant visual information likely leads to a decrease in agency in the asynchronous, mirror tapping condition. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We examined the relationship between subcomponents of embodiment and multisensory integration using a mirror box illusion. The participants' left hand was positioned against the mirror, while their right hidden hand was positioned 12″, 6″, or 0″ from the mirror - creating a conflict between visual and proprioceptive estimates of limb position in some conditions. After synchronous tapping, asynchronous tapping, or no movement of both hands, participants gave position estimates for the hidden limb and filled out a brief embodiment questionnaire. We found a relationship between different subcomponents of embodiment and illusory displacement towards the visual estimate. Illusory visual displacement was positively correlated with feelings of deafference in the asynchronous and no movement conditions, whereas it was positive correlated with ratings of visual capture and limb ownership in the synchronous and no movement conditions. These results provide evidence for dissociable contributions of different aspects of embodiment to multisensory integration. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Consciousness and Cognition
  • Source
    • ", to themselves , the computer or another person ( Aarts et al . , 2005 ; Sato and Yasuda , 2005 ) . Typically , these judgments are made on rating scales ( 10 - or 100 - point ) ranging from " not me at all " to " definitely me , " or from " no control at all " to " complete control . "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the past decades, sense of control—the feeling that one is in control of one’s actions has gained much scientific interests. Various scales have been used to measure sense of control in previous studies, yet no study has allowed participants to create a scale for rating their control experiences despite advances in the neighboring field of conscious vision has been linked to this approach. Here, we examined how participants preferred to rate sense of control during a simple motor control task by asking them to create a scale to be used to describe their sense of control experience during the task. Scale with six steps was most frequently created. Even though some variability was observed in the number of preferred scale steps, descriptions were highly similar across all participants when scales were converted to the same continuum. When we divided participants into groups based on their number of preferred scale steps, mean task performance and sense of control could be described as sigmoid functions of the noise level, and the function parameters were equivalent across groups. We also showed that task performance increased exponentially as a function of control rating, and that, again, function parameters were equivalent for all groups. In summary, the present study established a participant-generated 6-point sense of control rating scale for simple computerized motor control tasks that can be empirically tested against other measures of control in future studies.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Frontiers in Psychology
Show more