Sense of agency for movements

Mark Schram Christensen*, Thor Grünbaum

*Corresponding author for this work

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In this paper, we argue that the comparator model is not a satisfactory model of sense of agency (SoA). We present a theoretical argument and experimental studies. We show (1) most studies of SoA neglect a distinction between SoA associated with movements (narrow SoA) and SoA associated with environmental events (broad SoA); (2) the comparator model emerges from experimental studies of sensory consequences narrowly associated with movements; (3) narrow SoA can be explained by a comparator model, but a motor signal model is simpler and explain narrow SoA equally well; and (4) standard experimental paradigms study only broad SoA.
Finally, we present results from two experiments, where we have failed to induce illusory narrow SoA in healthy participants. We believe our experimental approaches should have led to illusory SoA, if the comparator model of SoA was correct. The results challenge proponents of the comparator model of narrow SoA.
Original languageEnglish
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Pages (from-to)27-47
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Sense of agency
  • Comparator model
  • Efference copy
  • EEG

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