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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 Neural Basis Underlying the Experience of Control in the Human Brain

The Neural Basis Underlying the Experience of Control in the Human Brain

Chapter:
(p.145) 6 The Neural Basis Underlying the Experience of Control in the Human Brain
Source:
The Sense of Agency
Author(s):

Lauren A. Leotti

Catherine Cho

Mauricio R. Delgado

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190267278.003.0006

Converging evidence suggests the perception of control—or the set of beliefs in one’s ability to exert control over the environment and to produce desired results—is integral for forming a sense of agency, hence affecting an individual’s general well-being. A large literature has demonstrated that the presence or absence of a sense of agency can have a significant impact on the regulation of emotion, behavior, and physiology. This chapter discusses the recent efforts in neuroscience research on humans which investigates this important subject. Collectively, the findings lend support to the theory that choice and personal control are inherently rewarding and motivating, which is highly beneficial for survival. The chapter discusses the implications of this research for understanding how the presence or absence of personal control influences emotion regulation and contributes to maladaptive behaviour.

Keywords:   perception of control, sense of agency, emotion, behavior, reward, motivation

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