Skip to main content

Choosing, Doing, and Controlling: Implicit Sense of Agency Over Somatosensory Events

Borhani, Khatereh, Beck, Brianna, Haggard, Patrick (2017) Choosing, Doing, and Controlling: Implicit Sense of Agency Over Somatosensory Events. Psychological Science, 28 (7). pp. 882-893. ISSN 0956-7976. E-ISSN 1467-9280. (doi:10.1177/0956797617697693) (KAR id:70403)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English
Download (474kB) Preview
[thumbnail of Beck_Borhani%20manuscript%20R4_3Feb2017.pdf]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format
Official URL


Sense of agency—a feeling of control over one’s actions and their outcomes—might include at least two components: free choice over which outcome to pursue and motoric control over the action causing the outcome. We orthogonally manipulated locus of outcome choice (free or instructed choice) and motoric control (active or passive movement), while measuring the perceived temporal attraction between actions and outcomes (temporal binding) as an implicit marker of agency. Participants also rated stimulus intensity so that we could measure sensory attenuation, another possible implicit marker of agency. Actions caused higher or lower levels of either painful heat or mild electrotactile stimulation. We found that both motoric control and outcome choice contributed to outcome binding. Moreover, free choice, relative to instructed choice, attenuated the perceived magnitude of high-intensity outcomes, but only when participants made an active movement. Thus, choosing, not just doing, influences temporal binding and sensory attenuation, though in different ways. Our results show that these implicit measures of agency are sensitive to both voluntary motor commands and instrumental control over action outcomes.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0956797617697693
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Brianna Beck
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 14:04 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:59 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Beck, Brianna:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year