If you expect that your action causes a near effect, you perceive the action and the effect as closer in time than they really are. This phenomenon is called temporal binding and is considered an implicit measure of the sense of agency, namely the sense of being the author of an action or action awareness. Recent studies, however, show that temporal binding occurs even without the agent executing any action and depends on the capacity to represent one event as the cause of another one. These studies demand the reexamination of the sense of agency, and of temporal binding as its diagnostic tool. I propose a causal view of the sense of agency, according to which action awareness arises when your action is represented as causing an effect. Because representing an action as causing outcomes affects time perception creating the illusion of event proximity, the causal view explains and operationalizes the sense of agency through the connection between causality and time, thus overcoming the indeterminacy of previous accounts. The causal view can pave the way to novel experimental perspectives in development and evolution and stimulate new thinking on the relationship between subjectivity, causal cognition, and time perception.

A causal view of the sense of agency

Tramacere A.
Primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2021

Abstract

If you expect that your action causes a near effect, you perceive the action and the effect as closer in time than they really are. This phenomenon is called temporal binding and is considered an implicit measure of the sense of agency, namely the sense of being the author of an action or action awareness. Recent studies, however, show that temporal binding occurs even without the agent executing any action and depends on the capacity to represent one event as the cause of another one. These studies demand the reexamination of the sense of agency, and of temporal binding as its diagnostic tool. I propose a causal view of the sense of agency, according to which action awareness arises when your action is represented as causing an effect. Because representing an action as causing outcomes affects time perception creating the illusion of event proximity, the causal view explains and operationalizes the sense of agency through the connection between causality and time, thus overcoming the indeterminacy of previous accounts. The causal view can pave the way to novel experimental perspectives in development and evolution and stimulate new thinking on the relationship between subjectivity, causal cognition, and time perception.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/844652
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