It is nearly 10 years since Patrick Haggard and colleagues first reported the ‘intentional binding’ effect . The intentional binding effect refers to the subjective compression of the temporal interval between a voluntary action and its external sensory consequence. Since the first report, considerable interest has been generated and a fascinating array of studies has accumulated. Much of the interest in intentional binding comes from the promise to shed light on human agency. In this review we survey studies on intentional (...) binding, focusing, in particular, on the link between intentional binding and the sense of agency . We suggest that, whilst it is yet to be fully explicated, the link between intentional binding and the sense of agency is compelling. We conclude by considering outstanding questions and future directions for research on intentional binding. (shrink)
Sense of agency is a compelling but fragile experience that is augmented or attenuated by internal signals and by external cues. A disruption in SoA may characterise individual symptoms of mental illness such as delusions of control. Indeed, it has been argued that generic SoA disturbances may lie at the heart of delusions and hallucinations that characterise schizophrenia. A clearer understanding of how sensorimotor, perceptual and environmental cues complement, or compete with, each other in engendering SoA may prove valuable in (...) deepening our understanding the agency disruptions that characterise certain focal neurological disorders and mental illnesses. Here we examine the integration of SoA cues in health and illness, describing a simple framework of this integration based on Bayesian principles. We extend this to consider how alterations in cue integration may lead to aberrant experiences of agency. (shrink)
This study investigates whether the conscious awareness of action is based on predictive motor control processes, or on inferential “sense-making” process that occur after the action itself. We investigated whether the temporal binding between perceptual estimates of operant actions and their effects depends on the occurrence of the effect (inferential processes) or on the prediction that the effect will occur (predictive processes). By varying the probability with which a simple manual action produced an auditory effect, we showed that both the (...) actual and the predicted occurrence of the effect played a role. When predictability of the effect of action was low, temporal binding was found only on those trials where the auditory effect occurred. In contrast, when predictability of the effect of action was high, temporal binding occurred even on trials where the action produced no effect. Further analysis showed that the predictive process is modulated by recent experience of the action-effect relation. We conclude that the experience of action depends on a dynamic combination of predictive and inferential processes. (shrink)
We investigate the processes underlying the feeling of control over one’s actions . Sense of agency may depend on internal motoric signals, and general inferences about external events. We used priming to modulate the sense of agency for voluntary and involuntary movements, by modifying the content of conscious thought prior to moving. Trials began with the presentation of one of two supraliminal primes, which corresponded to the effect of a voluntary action participants subsequently made. The perceived interval between movement and (...) effect was used as an implicit measure of sense of agency. Primes modulated perceived intervals for both voluntary and involuntary movements, but the modulation was greatest for involuntary movements. A second experiment showed that this modulation depended on prime–movement contiguity. We propose that sense of agency is based on a combination of internal motoric signals and external sensory evidence about the source of actions and effects. (shrink)
The experience of causation is a pervasive product of the human mind. Moreover, the experience of causing an event alters subjective time: actions are perceived as temporally shifted towards their effects [Haggard, P., Clark, S., & Kalogeras, J.. Voluntary action and conscious awareness. Nature Neuroscience, 5, 382-385]. This temporal shift depends partly on advance prediction of the effects of action, and partly on inferential "postdictive" explanations of sensory effects of action. We investigated whether a single factor of statistical contingency could (...) explain both these aspects of causal experience. We studied the time at which people perceived a simple manual action to occur, when statistical contingency indicated a causal relation between action and effect, and when no such relation was indicated. Both predictive and inferential "postdictive" shifts in the time of action depended on strong contingency between action and effect. The experience of agency involves a process of causal learning based on statistical contingency. (shrink)
Sense of agency refers to the sense of initiating and controlling actions in order to influence events in the outside world. Recently, a distinction between implicit and explicit aspects of sense of agency has been proposed, analogous to distinctions found in other areas of cognition, notably learning. However, there is yet no strong evidence supporting separable implicit and explicit components of sense of agency. The so-called ‘Perruchet paradigm’ offers one of the few convincing demonstrations of separable implicit and explicit learning (...) systems. We adopted this approach to evaluate the implicit–explicit distinction in the context of a simple task in which outcomes were probabilistically caused by actions. In line with our initial predictions, we found evidence of a dissociation. We discuss the implications of this result for theories of sense of agency. (shrink)
Recent research has shown that human instrumental action is associated with systematic changes in time perception: The interval between a voluntary action and an outcome is perceived as shorter than the interval between a physically similar involuntary movement and an outcome. The study by, Ebert and Wegner suggests that this change in time perception is related to higher order agency experience. Notwithstanding certain issues arising from their study, which are discussed, we believe it offers validation of binding as a measure (...) of sense of agency. (shrink)
James Moore states that "some of the most distinctive and central arguments of Hutcheson's philosophy - the importance of ideas brought to mind by the internal senses, the presence in human nature of calm desires, of generous and benevolent instincts - will be found to emerge in the course of these writings.""--Jacket.
In discussions of ‘religion-and-science’, faith is usually emphasized more than works, scientists’ beliefs more than their deeds. By reversing the priority, a lingering puzzle in the life of Ronald Aylmer Fisher , statistician, eugenicist and founder of the neo-Darwinian synthesis, can be solved. Scholars have struggled to find coherence in Fisher’s simultaneous commitment to Darwinism, Anglican Christianity and eugenics. The problem is addressed by asking what practical mode of faith or faithful mode of practice lent unity to his life? Families, (...) it is argued, with their myriad practical, emotional and intellectual challenges, rendered a mathematically-based eugenic Darwinian Christianity not just possible for Fisher, but vital. (shrink)
Hume considered An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals incomparably the best of all his writings. In the argument advanced here, I propose that Hume's preference for the Enquiry may be linked to his admiration of Cicero, and his work, De Officiis. Cicero's attempt to discover the honestum of morality in De Officiis had a particular relevance and appeal for philosophers of the early eighteenth century who were seeking to establish what they called the foundation of morality. One of those (...) philosophers was Francis Hutcheson; his differences with his contemporaries and with Hume are reviewed in the second and third parts of the essay. In the fourth and final section, I examine Hume's attempt to reconcile the foundation of morality, as he under-stood it, the sentiment of humanity, with the principles of utility and agreeableness. And an attempt is made, finally, to explain why Hume's critics perceived Hume's Enquiry to be the work of an Epicurean and a sceptic. (shrink)
Despite the fact that the role of learning is recognised in empirical and theoretical work on sense of agency , the nature of this learning has, rather surprisingly, received little attention. In the present study we consider the contribution of associative mechanisms to SoA. SoA can be measured quantitatively as a temporal linkage between voluntary actions and their external effects. Using an outcome blocking procedure, it was shown that training action–outcome associations under conditions of increased surprise augmented this temporal linkage. (...) Moreover, these effects of surprise were correlated with schizotypy scores, suggesting that individual differences in higher level experiences are related to associative learning and to its impact on SoA. These results are discussed in terms of models of SoA, and our understanding of disrupted SoA in certain disorders. (shrink)
This collection of thirteen essays by prominent scholars explores the history of evolutionary thought in all of its cultural richness over the past two hundred years. Evolutionary ideas have undergone fundamental changes and are now found to have diverse sources and universal scope. They are no longer beholden to biologists’ understanding of their own past, and do not focus exclusively on Charles Darwin. This volume aims to address the problem of the human significance of evolution. The contributors draw on contemporary (...) sources as diverse as medicine, literature and natural history tableaux, as well as the resources of publishing history, feminine scholarship, and the histories of politics, sociology, and philosophy. The essays offer new perspectives on familiar figures such as Erasmus, Charles Darwin, Lamarck, Chambers, Huxley, and Haeckel, but also on many lesser known participants in the evolutionary debates. Contents Preface; Introductory conversation; 1. Erasmus Darwin: Doctor of Evolution? R. Porter; 2. Nature’s powers: a reading of Lamarck’s distinction between creation and production L. Jordanova; 3. Lamarckism and democracy: corporations, corruption, and comparative anatomy in the 1830s A. Desmond; 4. The nebular hypothesis and the science of progress S. Schaffer; 5. Behind the veil: Robert Chambers and Vestiges J. A. Secord; 6. Of love and death: why Darwin ’gave up Christianity’ J. R. Moore; 7. Encounters with Adam, or at least the Hyaenas: nineteenth-century visual representation of the deep past M. Rudwick; 8. Huxley and woman’s place in science: the ’woman question’ and the control of Victorian anthropology E. Richards; 9. Ideology, evolution, and late-Victorian agnostic popularizers B. Lightman; 10. Ernst Haeckel, Darwinismus, and the secularization of nature P. Weindling; 11. Holding your head up high: degeneration and orthogenesis in theories of human evolution P. J. Bowler; 12. Evolution, ideology, and world view: Darwinian religion in the twentieth century J. R. Durant; 13. Persons, organisms, and łdots primary qualities R. M. Young; Afterword John C. Greene; Index. (shrink)
. Remarks made by Lutheran leaders in Africa indicate that the churches have not been responding to the crisis of the HIV/AIDS pandemic sufficiently. In this essay I ask how the churches would be better prepared to act and also, more broadly, how the churches act to begin with. The dialogue between religion and science can assist us with both tasks as we consider the challenge of HIV/AIDS as a focus for this dialogue. First, analysis by social scientists can uncover (...) what problems face any effort to motivate churches to actâand, for that matter, any individual member of a church group. I argue, further, that we can discover the difficulties associated with producing action by religious communities by looking not at abstract theological ideas but by investigating the way those ideas are conveyed in worship. I explore the worship patterns of Lutherans to show what sort of view is actually produced by the week-to-week messages of liturgical texts. I contend that a different approach both to worship and to action can be produced by reconsidering our views of reality as seen through the eyes of contemporary science. (shrink)
This unique edited collection illuminates Paul Ricoeur's engagement with Scripture. The contributors include one of the primary translators, several who studied at the University of Chicago, and some of this generation's noted Ricoeur scholars. The essays discuss Hebrew and Christian Scripture, hermeneutics, and biblical scholarship.