Intentional binding is driven by the mere presence of an action and not by motor prediction

PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e29557. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029557. Epub 2012 Jan 17.


Intentional binding refers to the fact that when a voluntary action produces a sensory outcome, action and outcome are perceived as being closer together in time. This phenomenon is often attributed, at least partially, to predictive motor mechanisms. However, previous studies failed to unequivocally attribute intentional binding to these mechanisms, since the contrasts that have been used to demonstrate intentional binding covered not only one but two processes: temporal control and motor identity prediction. In the present study we aimed to isolate the respective role of each of these processes in the emergence of intentional binding of action-effects. The results show that motor identity prediction does not modulate intentional binding of action-effects. Our findings cast doubts on the assumption that intentional binding of action effects is linked to internal forward predictive process.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Awareness / physiology
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology*
  • Time Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult