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Learning volition: A longitudinal study of developing intentional awareness in Tourette syndrome

Mainka, T; Di Costa, S; Borngräber, F; Barow, E; Münchau, A; Ganos, C; Haggard, P; (2020) Learning volition: A longitudinal study of developing intentional awareness in Tourette syndrome. Cortex , 129 pp. 33-40. 10.1016/j.cortex.2020.03.027. (In press).

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Abstract

Tourette syndrome (TS) is characterized by the presence of involuntary movements (tics) which are, at least partly, generated within ‘voluntary’ motor pathways. Here we reassess 16 TS patients (age 19 ± 2.3 years) who participated in a mental chronometry study of volition 5.5 years previously (Ganos C et al. Cortex. 2015 Mar.; 64:47–54), and 16 age-matched controls. Participants estimated the time of their own voluntary movements (Libet's M judgement), or of conscious intention to make voluntary movements (Libet's W judgement), in separate blocks. We considered M judgement as a control condition. Therefore, the experience of an intention to move occurring prior to actual movement onset, as measured by the W-M gap, was taken as the cardinal feature of volition. Time estimates of the TS group did not differ significantly from controls, for either M or W judgement. Further, M and W time estimates in the TS group had not changed significantly between the two assessments. However, exploratory analyses revealed a strong relation between disease duration and the development of M- and W-judgements: the longer was the disease duration, the less was the developmental increase in the W-M gap (linear regression, p = .003). In conclusion, our results suggest compromised development of experience of volition in developing TS patients. The developmental difficulty in processing internal premotor signals for voluntary actions could reflect the chronic persistence of tics from adolescence to adulthood.

Type: Article
Title: Learning volition: A longitudinal study of developing intentional awareness in Tourette syndrome
Location: Italy
DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2020.03.027
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2020.03.027
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Free will, Intention awareness, Libet experiment, Tic disorder, Tourette syndrome
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104556
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