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Experimenting with the acting self

Tsakiris, E; Haggard, P; (2005) Experimenting with the acting self. Cognitive Neuropsychology , 22 (3-4) pp.387 - 407.

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Abstract

Recent neuroscientific research has developed the concept of the embodied agent as a scientifically viable approach to the psychological concept of the self. Both the awareness of one's own actions and awareness of one's own body are necessary conditions for the experience of selfhood. The relative contributions of efferent and afferent information in self-awareness are yet to be fully understood. We review experimental evidence that highlights the phenomenological and functional differences between the "acting self" and the "sensory self." These differences may underlie the ubiquitous modulation of perception in voluntary action. We focus on three main research fields: somatosensory perception, time-awareness, and self-recognition. A series of experiments, designed so as to dissociate afferent from efferent information, are reviewed. As a whole the results suggest that intentional action functions as a general context for awareness, modulating the perception of one's own body. The "acting self," owner of the efferent information, modulates the phenomenal experience of the "sensory self" because of the intrinsically agentic nature of voluntary movement. Finally, it is suggested that this sense of agency is efferent-driven, originating from pre-action processes. Recent neuroscientific research has developed the concept of the embodied agent as a scientifically viable approach to the psychological concept of the self. Both the awareness of one's own actions and awareness of one's own body are necessary conditions for the experience of selfhood. The relative contributions of efferent and afferent information in self-awareness are yet to be fully understood. We review experimental evidence that highlights the phenomenological and functional differences between the "acting self" and the "sensory self." These differences may underlie the ubiquitous modulation of perception in voluntary action. We focus on three main research fields: somatosensory perception, time-awareness, and self-recognition. A series of experiments, designed so as to dissociate afferent from efferent information, are reviewed. As a whole the results suggest that intentional action functions as a general context for awareness, modulating the perception of one's own body. The "acting self," owner of the efferent information, modulates the phenomenal experience of the "sensory self" because of the intrinsically agentic nature of voluntary movement. Finally, it is suggested that this sense of agency is efferent-driven, originating from pre-action processes.

Type:Article
Title:Experimenting with the acting self
Additional information:Imported via OAI, 7:29:01 16th May 2007
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences

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