That's my hand! Therefore, that's my willed action: How body ownership acts upon conscious awareness of willed actions

Dalila Burin, Maria Pyasik, Adriana Salatino, Lorenzo Pia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Whether and how body ownership (“this body is mine”) contributes to human conscious experience of voluntary action is still unclear. In order to answer this question, here we incorporated two signatures (i.e., an ad hoc questionnaire and the sensory attenuation paradigm) of human's sense of agency (“this action is due to my own will”) within a well-known experimental manipulation of body ownership (i.e., the rubber hand illusion paradigm). In two different experiments, we showed that the illusory ownership over a fake hand (induced by the rubber hand illusion) triggered also an illusory agency over its movements at both explicit and implicit level. Specifically, when the fake (embodied) hand pressed a button delivering an electrical stimulus to the participant's body, the movement was misattributed to participant's will (explicit level) and the stimulus intensity was attenuated (implicit level) exactly as it happened when the own hand actually delivered the stimulus. Our findings suggest that body ownership per se entails also motor representations of one's own movements. Whenever required by the context, this information would act upon agency attribution even prospectively (i.e., prior to action execution).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-173
Number of pages10
JournalCognition
Volume166
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sep
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Body ownership
  • Rubber hand illusion
  • Sense of agency
  • Sensory attenuation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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