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Negative emotional outcomes attenuate sense of agency over voluntary actions

Yoshie, M; Haggard, P; (2013) Negative emotional outcomes attenuate sense of agency over voluntary actions. Current Biology , 23 (20) pp. 2028-2032. 10.1016/j.cub.2013.08.034. Green open access

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Abstract

Sense of agency (SoA) refers to the feeling that one's voluntary actions produce external sensory events [1, 2]. Several psychological theories hypothesized links between SoA and affective evaluation [3-6]. For example, people tend to attribute positive outcomes to their own actions, perhaps reflecting high-level narrative processes that enhance self-esteem [3]. Here we provide the first evidence that such emotional modulations also involve changes in the low-level sensorimotor basis of agency. The intentional binding paradigm [1] was used to quantify the subjective temporal compression between a voluntary action and its sensory consequences, providing an implicit measure of SoA. Emotional valence of action outcomes was manipulated by following participants' key-press actions with negative or positive emotional vocalizations [7], or neutral sounds. We found that intentional binding was reduced for negative compared to positive or neutral outcomes. Discriminant analyses identified a change in time perception of both actions and their negative outcomes, demonstrating that the experience of action itself is subject to affective modulation. A small binding benefit was also found for positive action outcomes. Emotional modulation of SoA may contribute to regulating social behavior. Correctly tracking the valenced effects of one's voluntary actions on other people could underlie successful social interactions.

Type: Article
Title: Negative emotional outcomes attenuate sense of agency over voluntary actions
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.08.034
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.08.034
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013 The Authors. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Awareness, Emotions, Female, Humans, Male, Psychomotor Performance, Self Concept, Time Perception, Young Adult
UCL classification: 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/1425000
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