Intentional binding coincides with explicit sense of agency

Conscious Cogn. 2019 Jan;67:1-15. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2018.11.005. Epub 2018 Nov 21.


Sense of agency, a feeling of generating actions and events by oneself, stems from action-outcome congruence. An implicit marker of sense of agency is intentional binding, which is compression of subjective temporal interval between action and outcome. We investigated relationships between intentional binding and explicit sense of agency. Participants pressed a key triggering auditory (Experiment 1) or visual outcome (Experiment 2) that occurred after variable delays. In each trial, participants rated their agency over the outcome and estimated the keypress-outcome temporal interval. Results showed that delays decreased agency ratings and intentional binding. There was inter-individual correlation between sensitivities to outcome delay (i.e., regression slope) of agency rating and intentional binding in the auditory but not visual domain. Importantly, we found intra-individual correlations between agency rating and intentional binding on a trial-by-trial basis in both outcome modalities. These results suggest that intentional binding coincides with explicit sense of agency.

Keywords: Action; Intra-individual variation; Self awareness; Sense of agency; Sensorimotor; Time perception.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Awareness / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Time Perception / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult