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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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Action Generation, Intention, and Agency in Motor and Body Awareness Deficits

Action Generation, Intention, and Agency in Motor and Body Awareness Deficits

Chapter:
(p.371) 17 Action Generation, Intention, and Agency in Motor and Body Awareness Deficits
Source:
The Sense of Agency
Author(s):

Anna Berti

Francesca Garbarini

Lorenzo Pia

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190267278.003.0017

The dramatic impairment of motor and body awareness, often observed in brain-damaged patients, can shed light on the mechanisms implicated in the emergence of conscious experience of the self as an acting body. This chapter first reviews evidence that shows, in patients affected by anosognosia for hemiplegia, how the activation of normal intentional process can give rise to false beliefs of movement when predictive models of motor behavior cannot be confronted with sensory feedbacks, due to damage of motor control systems. In brain-damaged patients with motor and somatosensory deficits, puzzling cognitions and behaviors can sometimes be observed where patients can misidentify other people’s limbs as their own, showing a pathological embodiment (E+) of others’ body parts (a condition called somatoparaphrenia). The chapter notes that in this condition the sense of agency and the intentional attitude can be “normally” transferred to the movements of another’s limbs.

Keywords:   impairment, brain damage, anosognosia for hemiplegia

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