Observing one's hand become anarchic: an fMRI study of action identification

Conscious Cogn. 2003 Dec;12(4):597-608. doi: 10.1016/s1053-8100(03)00079-5.


The self seems to be a unitary entity remaining stable across time. Nevertheless, current theorizing conceptualizes the self as a number of interacting sub-systems involving perception, intention and action (self-model). One important function of such a self-model is to distinguish between events occurring as a result of one's own actions and events occurring as the result of somebody else's actions. We conducted an fMRI experiment that compared brain activation after an abrupt mismatch between one's own movement and its visual consequences with an abrupt mismatch between one's own movement and somebody else's visually perceived hand movement. A right fronto-parietal network was selectively active during a sudden mismatch between one's own observed and performed hand action.

MeSH terms

  • Awareness / physiology
  • Body Image
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Concept Formation / physiology
  • Consciousness / physiology*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Ego*
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Intention
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Perceptual Distortion / physiology*
  • Personal Construct Theory
  • Problem Solving / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*