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A specific role for efferent information in self-recognition

Tsakiris, E; Haggard, P; Franck, N; Mainy, N; Sirigu, A; (2005) A specific role for efferent information in self-recognition. Cognition , 96 (3) pp.215 - 231.

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Abstract

We investigated the specific contribution of efferent information in a self-recognition task. Subjects experienced a passive extension of the right index finger, either as an effect of moving their left hand via a lever (?self-generated action?), or imposed externally by the experimenter (?externally-generated action?). The visual feedback was manipulated so that subjects saw either their own right hand (?view own hand? condition) or someone else's right hand (?view other's hand condition) during the passive extension of the index finger. Both hands were covered with identical gloves, so that discrimination on the basis of morphological differences was not possible. Participants judged whether the right hand they saw was theirs or not. Self-recognition was significantly more accurate when subjects were themselves the authors of the action, even though visual and proprioceptive information always specified the same posture, and despite the fact that subjects judged the effect and not the action per se. When the passive displacement of the participants right index finger was externally generated, and only afferent information was available, self-recognition performance dropped to near-chance levels. Differences in performance across conditions reflect the distinctive contribution of efferent information to self-recognition, and argue against a dominant role of proprioception in self-recognition. We investigated the specific contribution of efferent information in a self-recognition task. Subjects experienced a passive extension of the right index finger, either as an effect of moving their left hand via a lever (?self-generated action?), or imposed externally by the experimenter (?externally-generated action?). The visual feedback was manipulated so that subjects saw either their own right hand (?view own hand? condition) or someone else's right hand (?view other's hand condition) during the passive extension of the index finger. Both hands were covered with identical gloves, so that discrimination on the basis of morphological differences was not possible. Participants judged whether the right hand they saw was theirs or not. Self-recognition was significantly more accurate when subjects were themselves the authors of the action, even though visual and proprioceptive information always specified the same posture, and despite the fact that subjects judged the effect and not the action per se. When the passive displacement of the participants right index finger was externally generated, and only afferent information was available, self-recognition performance dropped to near-chance levels. Differences in performance across conditions reflect the distinctive contribution of efferent information to self-recognition, and argue against a dominant role of proprioception in self-recognition.

Type:Article
Title:A specific role for efferent information in self-recognition
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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