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Sense of control depends on fluency of action selection, not motor performance.

Chambon, V; Haggard, P; (2012) Sense of control depends on fluency of action selection, not motor performance. Cognition , 125 (3) 441 - 451. 10.1016/j.cognition.2012.07.011. Green open access

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Abstract

Sense of agency refers to the feeling of controlling one's own actions, and, through these actions, events in the outside world. Sense of agency is widely held to involve a retrospective inference based on matching actual effects of an action with its expected effects. We hypothesise a second, prospective aspect of sense of agency, reflecting the fluency of action selection, based on results from subliminal priming of actions. When people responded to a target that was compatible with a preceding subliminal prime, they felt stronger sense of control over a subsequent colour effect than when the preceding prime was incompatible. Importantly, compatible and incompatible primes had the same predictive statistical relation to the colour effect. We next investigated whether differences in sense of control could be based on monitoring motor performance. By varying the timings of mask and target, we compared sense of control between a Positive Compatibility condition, where compatible primes facilitated performance, and a Negative Compatibility condition, where compatible primes impaired performance. We found that compatible priming again enhanced sense of control, irrespective of its effects on performance. We present a simple model of the prospective aspect of sense of agency, in which early signals reflecting action selection processing make a direct, experiential contribution to sense of control. Sense of agency may be partly based on an experience-based 'feeling of doing', analogous to the metacognitive 'feeling of knowing'.

Type: Article
Title: Sense of control depends on fluency of action selection, not motor performance.
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2012.07.011
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2012.07.011
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Adult, Female, Humans, Internal-External Control, Male, Psychomotor Performance, Reaction Time, Repetition Priming, Subliminal Stimulation
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/1376597
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