Intention, attention and the temporal experience of action

Consciousness and Cognition 16 (2):211-220 (2007)
Subjects estimated the time of intentions to perform an action, of the action itself, or of an auditory effect of the action. A perceptual attraction or binding effect occurred between actions and the effects that followed them. Judgements of intentions did not show this binding, suggesting they are represented independently of actions and their effects. In additional unpredictable judgement conditions, subjects were instructed only after each trial which of these events to judge, thus discouraging focussed attention to a specific event. Stronger binding effects were found, with intention, action and effect fusing to a single central point in time. In a control task, subjects reported the time of the first or second tone in sequence. Tone sequences showed no binding at all when subjects knew in advance which tone to judge, but showed the same fusion as actions when the event to be judged was not predictable. Binding of actions and effects, but not of tone sequences, occurs pre-attentively, and automatically. The data are consistent with a reconstructive process, implemented after actions, which generates a coherent sense of agency. However, this process should only be triggered only when our actions make it appropriate. We suggest that this mechanism is triggered in advance by efferent processing. This conclusion was supported by a further study in deafferented subject IW. This subject showed the normal binding of a tone towards an action, although his experience of the action was of pre-motor, rather than peripheral origin. The experience of intentional action involves an interplay between pre-motor and reconstructive processes
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2006.07.002
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,879
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Patrick Haggard (2005). Conscious Intention and Motor Cognition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9 (6):290-295.
Charles Spence, David I. Shore & Raymond M. Klein (2001). Multisensory Prior Entry. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 130 (4):799.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
James Moore (2007). Awareness of Action: Inference and Prediction. Consciousness and Cognition 17 (1):136-144.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Nishi Shah (2008). How Action Governs Intention. Philosophers' Imprint 8 (5):1-19.
Nishi Shah (2008). How Action Governs Intention. Philosophers' Imprint 8 (5):1-19.
James Moore (2007). Awareness of Action: Inference and Prediction. Consciousness and Cognition 17 (1):136-144.
Ian Phillips (2010). Perceiving Temporal Properties. European Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):176-202.
Deborah Tollefsen (2005). Let’s Pretend!: Children and Joint Action. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (1):75-97.
Hugh McCann (1995). Intention and Motivational Strength. Journal of Philosophical Research 20:571-583.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

33 ( #96,361 of 1,725,161 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #268,621 of 1,725,161 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.