Schizotypal personality traits and prediction of one's own movements in motor control: What causes an abnormal sense of agency?

Consciousness and Cognition 17 (4):1131-1142 (2008)
Abstract
Background. Positive schizophrenic symptoms, especially passivity phenomena, including auditory hallucinations, may be caused by an abnormal sense of agency, which people with schizotypal personality traits also tend to exhibit. A sense of agency asserts that it is oneself who is causing or generating an action. It is possible that this abnormal sense of self-agency is attributable to the abnormal prediction of one’s own movements in motor control. Method. We conducted an experiment using the “disappeared cursor” paradigm in which non-clinical, healthy participants were required to click on a target using an invisible mouse cursor. Prediction error was defined as the distance between the target and the click point. Results. The results showed that schizotypal personality traits, but not depressive or anxious traits, were correlated with deficits in predicting movements of the subjects’ left hand. In particular, auditory hallucination proneness had the strongest relationship with movement prediction error. In this report, we also discuss the error tendency . Conclusions. This finding is in accordance with the idea that passivity phenomena or proneness may be caused by the abnormal prediction of one’s own actions or movements
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