The "sense of agency" and its underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms

Conscious Cogn. 2008 Jun;17(2):523-34. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2008.03.004. Epub 2008 Apr 18.


The sense of agency is a central aspect of human self-consciousness and refers to the experience of oneself as the agent of one's own actions. Several different cognitive theories on the sense of agency have been proposed implying divergent empirical approaches and results, especially with respect to neural correlates. A multifactorial and multilevel model of the sense of agency may provide the most constructive framework for integrating divergent theories and findings, meeting the complex nature of this intriguing phenomenon.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cognition
  • Consciousness / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Self Concept*