Unconscious modulation of the conscious experience of voluntary control

Cognition 104 (3):459-475 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX


How does the brain generate our experience of being in control over our actions and their effects? Here, we argue that the perception of events as self-caused emerges from a comparison between anticipated and actual action-effects: if the representation of an event that follows an action is activated before the action, the event is experienced as caused by one’s own action, whereas in the case of a mismatch it will be attributed to an external cause rather than to the self. In a subliminal priming paradigm we show that participants overestimated how much control they had over objectively uncontrollable stimuli, which appeared after free- or forced-choice actions, when a masked prime activated a representation of the stimuli immediately before each action. This prime-induced control-illusion was independent from whether primes were consciously perceived. Results indicate that the conscious experience of control is modulated by unconscious anticipations of action-effects.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,923

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Trading automatic/nonautomatic for unconscious/conscious.Joseph Tzelgov - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (3):356-357.
Is priming during anesthesia unconscious?Catherine Deeprose & Jackie Andrade - 2006 - Consciousness and Cognition 15 (1):1-23.
The conscious and the unconscious: A package deal.Martin Kurthen - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (3):343-344.
Consciousness and control: Not identical twins.Bernhard Hommel - 2007 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (1):155-176.
Free action as two level voluntary control.John Dilworth - 2008 - Philosophical Frontiers 3 (1):29-45.


Added to PP

170 (#117,045)

6 months
31 (#107,436)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?