How does one know that (s)he is the causal agent of their motor actions? Earlier theories of sense of agency have attributed the capacity for perception of self-agency to the comparator process of the motor-control/action system. However, with the advent of the findings implying a role of non-motor cues (like affective states, beliefs, primed concepts, and social instructions or previews of actions) in the sense of agency literature, the perception of self-agency is hypothesized to be generated even by non-motor cues (based on their relative reliability or weighting estimate); and, this theory is come to be known as the cue-integration of sense of agency. However, the cue-integration theory motivates skepticism about whether it is falsifiable and whether it is plausible that non-motor cues that are sensorily unrelated to typical sensory processes of self-agency have the capacity to produce a perception of self-agency. To substantiate this skepticism, I critically analyze the experimental operationalizations of cue-integration-with the (classic) vicarious agency experiment as a case study-to show that (1) the participants in these experiments are ambiguous about their causal agency over motor actions, (2) thus, these participants resort to reports of self-agency as heuristic judgments (under ambiguity) rather than due to cue-integration per se, and (3) there might not have occurred cue-integration based self-agency reports if these experimental operationalizations had eliminated ambiguity about the causal agency. Thus, I conclude that the reports of self-agency (observed in typical non-motor cues based cue-integration experiments) are not instances of perceptual effect-that are hypothesized to be produced by non-motor cues-but are of heuristic judgment effect.
Keywords: Attribute substitution; Cue integration; Sense of agency; Uncertainty.
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