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The Sense of Agency$
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Patrick Haggard and Baruch Eitam

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190267278

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190267278.001.0001

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The Relations Between Agency and Body Ownership

The Relations Between Agency and Body Ownership

Additive or Independent?

(p.235) 10 The Relations Between Agency and Body Ownership
The Sense of Agency

Manos Tsakiris

Oxford University Press

The exact relation between the sense that one’s body is one’s own (body ownership) and the sense that one controls one’s body (agency) has been the focus of much speculation, but remains unclear. A series of behavioral experiments has suggested that control over bodily movements and one’s sense of control over them produce a more global awareness of one’s body in space and time, lending support to an “additive” model whereby agency and body ownership are strongly related; the ability to control actions is a powerful cue to body ownership. However, functional neuroimaging findings support an alternative “independence” model whereby agency and body ownership are qualitatively different experiences, triggered by different inputs, and recruiting distinct brain networks. The apparently inconsistent results between psychophysical and neuroimaging experiments are interpreted in the context of the recent understanding of neuropsychological syndromes that affect action- and/or body-awareness.

Keywords:   agency, body ownership, action, control, neuroimaging

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