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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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Disorders of Volition from Neurological Disease

Disorders of Volition from Neurological Disease

Altered Awareness of Action in Neurological Disorders

(p.389) 18 Disorders of Volition from Neurological Disease
The Sense of Agency

James B. Rowe

Noham Wolpe

Oxford University Press

The ability to act voluntarily is fundamentally important to humans, yet it can be impaired by many neurological conditions. These can lead to several disorders of volition, affecting the control of voluntary action and the sense of agency. This chapter considers three different groups of neurological disease: movement disorders, dementia, and focal brain lesions. These conditions can cause involuntary movements, apraxia, automatic behaviors, alien limb, or anarchic hand—all reflecting different abnormalities in the awareness and control of actions. Historically, these clinical phenomena have enabled a detailed mapping of the functional anatomy of volitional control. This chapter shows how recent developments in cognitive neuroscience have been used to study agency in neurological conditions. It also illustrates how brain imaging has provided new insights into awareness of, and attention to, action in neurological disease.

Keywords:   agency, neurological disease, anarchic hand, alien limb, apraxia, movement disorders

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