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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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Neural Correlates of Intention

Neural Correlates of Intention

Chapter:
(p.95) 4 Neural Correlates of Intention
Source:
The Sense of Agency
Author(s):

Roee Gilron

Shiri Simon

Roy Mukamel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190267278.003.0004

At the behavioral level, humans are constantly engaged in performing motor acts, but the neural activity patterns that give rise to the initiation of such acts are poorly understood. Early studies by Deecke and Libet demonstrated robust changes in neural activity (measured with scalp EEG), which begin several hundreds of milliseconds prior to the overt performance of a voluntary motor act. Interestingly, these changes in neural activity start even before the subjective time point at which the subjects first feel the urge to move. Primate studies, neuroimaging studies in healthy human subjects, case reports of pathological conditions, and invasive electrophysiological data obtained from patients all support a model in which the intention to perform an action results from coordinated pre-conscious activity of neuron assemblies in parietal and frontal circuits. This chapter discusses neurophysiological studies examining the relationship between neural activity and the emergence of the subjective feeling of intention to act.

Keywords:   pre-conscious activity, neural activity, subjective feeling, intention to act, motor acts

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