Sense of agency with illusory visual events

Kanji Tanaka, Katsumi Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sense of agency (SoA) is the subjective feeling of being in control of one's own actions and that one's action causes changes in external circumstances. In the present study, we investigated how percepts influenced a production of SoA when effect-related signals were illusory. For this purpose, we adopted the cross-modal double-flash illusion (DFI). In DFI, when two brief auditory stimuli (i.e., beeps) are presented in quick succession and accompanied by a single visual flash, observers tend to report two visual flashes. In the experiments, we let participants press a given button once or twice. Three stimulus conditions were used: one beep sound (inducer) with a single flash (effect; 1B1F), two beeps with two flashes (2B2F), and two beeps with one flash (DFI condition). Then, participants reported how much they thought they had caused the events (i.e., visual flashes) by their actions. Through the series of experiments, we found even illusory visual events enhanced SoA in the DFI condition. However, SoA in the DFI condition was smaller than that in the 2B2F condition. These results indicate that both the congruency between action and apparent stimulus as well as the stimulus property modulate SoA. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-251
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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