Department of Cognitive Science
A comparison of fortunes: The comparator and multifactorial weighting models of the sense of agency
Glenn Carruthers (email@example.com)Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science, Macquarie University, Sydney
AbstractThe sense of agency over bodily actions is the feeling that one is the agent of one's actions. In this paper I examine the prospects of Frith and colleagues' influential comparator account of how the sense of agency over one's bodily actions is elicited, in comparison to the multifactorial weighting model advocated by Synofzik and colleagues in response to some problems with this account. I examine two problems for the comparator model. I consider the common objection that the actual sensory consequences of action aren't needed to elicit the sense of agency with a look at the data which most strongly suggests this, namely the preserved sense of agency over phantom limb movements. I consider a problem for the comparator model in the behaviour of normal subjects placed in unusual circumstances, in particular I consider the 'wheel of fortune' studies which some take to be problematic for the comparator model. I argue that neither of these objections are devastating for the comparator model and that the comparator model plus some plausible assumptions can explain these data. However, these assumptions are not part of the original comparator model. In the end we get a version of the comparator model modified to deal with problematic cases in a manner that could be seen as somewhat ad hoc. To deal with this the multifactorial weighting model of Synofzik and colleagues is introduced. Although this model is incomplete a single version can be offered which is naturally constrained by the cases which are problematic for the comparator model. However, it is not clear what, if anything, could count as evidence against the multifactorial weighting model. Despite being generated with the data in mind it may be untestable. I conclude that currently the comparator model has stronger support than the multifactorial weighting model.
Citation details for this article:Carruthers, G. (2010). A Comparison of Fortunes: the Comparator and Multifactorial Weighting Models of the Sense of Agency. In W. Christensen, E. Schier, and J. Sutton (Eds.), ASCS09: Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science (pp. 35-40). Sydney: Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science.
Download the PDF here
- Aarts, H., Custers, R. & Wegner, D. (2005). On the inference of personal authorship: Enhancing experienced agency by priming effect information. Consciousness and Cognition, 14, 439-458.
- Blakemore, S.-J., Wolpert, D.& Frith, Ch. (2002). Abnormalities in the awareness of action. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 6(6), 237-242. doi: 10.1016/S1364-6613(02)01907-1
- Desmurget, M. & Grafton, S. (2000). Forward modeling allows feedback control for fast reaching movements. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4(11), 423-431. doi: 10.1016/S1364-6613(00)01537-0
- Feinberg, I. (1978). Efference copy and corollary discharge: Implications for thinking and its disorders. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 4(4), 636-640.
- Frith, Ch. & Blakemore, S.-J. & Wolpert, D. (2000a). Explaining the symptoms of schizophrenia: Abnormalities in the awareness of action. Brain Research Reviews, 31, 357-363. doi: 10.1016/S0165-0173(99)00052-1
- Frith, Ch., Blakemore, S.-J. & Wolpert, D. (2000b). Abnormalities in the awareness and control of action. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B - Biological Sciences, 355, 1771-1788.
- Frith, Ch., Rees, G. & Friston, K. (1998). Psychosis and the experience of the self. Proceedings of the New York Academy of Science: Neuroscience of the Mind on the Centennial of Freud's Project for a Scientific Psychology, 843r,: 170-178.
- Jones, S., de-Wit, L., Fernyhough, Ch. & Meins, E. (2008). A new spin on the wheel of fortune: Priming of action-authorship judgements and relation to psychosis-like experiences. Consciousness and Cognition, 17, 576-586. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2007.08.008
- Kawato, M. (1999). Internal models for motor control and trajectory planning. Current Opinions in Neurobiology, 9, 718-727. doi: 10.1016/S0959-4388(99)00028-8
- Pacherie, E. (2008). The phenomenology of action: A conceptual framework. Cognition, 107, 179-217. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2007.09.003
- Ramachandran, V. (2003). The emerging mind: The Reith lectures 2003. BBC.
- Ramachandran, V. & Blakeslee, S. (1998). Phantoms in the brain: Human nature and the architecture of the mind. Fourth Estate.
- Synofzik, M., Vosgerau, G. & Newen, A. (2008). Beyond the comparator model: A multifactorial two-step account of agency. Consciousness and Cognition, 17, 219-239.
- Synofzik, M., Vosgerau, G. & Newen, A. (2009). Reply to Carruthers. Consciousness and Cognition, 18(2), 521-523.
- Vosgerau, G. & Newen, A. (2007). Thoughts, motor actions and the self. Mind and Language, 22(1), 22-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2006.00298.x
- Wolpert, D. & Ghahramani, Z. (2000). Computational principles of movement neuroscience. Nature Neurosciences Reviews, 3, 1212-1217.
- Friday 28th Oct,
Research Assistant Professor Tal Yarkoni,
"What can large-scale meta-analytic modelling of fMRI data tell us ..."
- Monday 31st Oct,
Professor Kyo Kageura,
"Scaffolding communications and interactions in translator training: ..."
- Tuesday 8th Nov,
"Respect. Now. Always. Project."
- Dr Mariia Kaliuzhna
- Dr Devin Terhune
- Professor Karin Landerl
- Adam Lalak
- Professor Oron Shagrir
- Xiaohe Yuan
- Jessica can Schagen [Previous Visitors]