Looking for the agent: An investigation into consciousness of action and self-consciousness in schizophrenic patients
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Cognition 65 (1):71-86 (1997)
The abilities to attribute an action to its proper agent and to understand its meaning when it is produced by someone else are basic aspects of human social communication. Several psychiatric syndromes, such as schizophrenia, seem to lead to a dysfunction of the awareness of one’s own action as well as of recognition of actions performed by other. Such syndromes offer a framework for studying the determinants of agency, the ability to correctly attribute actions to their veridical source. Thirty normal subjects and 30 schizophrenic patients with and without hallucinations and/or delusional experiences were required to execute simple finger and wrist movements, without direct visual control of their hand. The image of either their own hand or an alien hand executing the same or a different movement was presented on a TV-screen in real time. The task for the subjects was to discriminate whether the hand presented on the screen was their own or not. Hallucinating and deluded schizophrenic patients were more impaired in discriminating their own hand from the alien one than the non-hallucinating ones, and tended to misattribute the alien hand to themselves. Results are discussed according to a model of action control. A tentative description of the mechanisms leading to action consciousness is proposed.
|Keywords||Schizophrenia Hallucinations Consciousness Representation of action Motor representations|
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Glenn Carruthers (2012). The Case for the Comparator Model as an Explanation of the Sense of Agency and its Breakdowns. Consciousness and Cognition 21 (1):30-45.
Peter Langland-Hassan (2008). Fractured Phenomenologies: Thought Insertion, Inner Speech, and the Puzzle of Extraneity. Mind and Language 23 (4):369-401.
Carmen Weiss & Simone Schütz-Bosbach (2012). Vicarious Action Preparation Does Not Result in Sensory Attenuation of Auditory Action Effects. Consciousness and Cognition 21 (4):1654-1661.
Pim Haselager (2013). Did I Do That? Brain–Computer Interfacing and the Sense of Agency. Minds and Machines 23 (3):405-418.
Corrado Sinigaglia & Giacomo Rizzolatti (2011). Through the Looking Glass: Self and Others. Cosciousness and Cognition 20 (1):64-74.
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