Intentional binding and the sense of agency: a review

Conscious Cogn. 2012 Mar;21(1):546-61. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2011.12.002. Epub 2012 Jan 11.


It is nearly 10 years since Patrick Haggard and colleagues first reported the 'intentional binding' effect (Haggard, Clark, & Kalogeras, 2002). 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 (the experience of controlling action to influence events in the environment). 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Association*
  • Causality
  • Feedback, Sensory*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Time Perception*
  • Volition*