BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Having a body versus moving your body: neural signatures of agency and body-ownership

    Tsakiris, M. and Longo, Matthew R. and Haggard, P. (2010) Having a body versus moving your body: neural signatures of agency and body-ownership. Neuropsychologia 48 , pp. 2740-2749. ISSN 0028-3932.

    Text (Refereed)
    5480.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

    Download (664kB) | Preview


    The exact relation between the sense that one’s body is one’s own (body-ownership) and the sense that one controls one’s own bodily actions (agency) has been the focus of much speculation, but remains unclear. On an ‘additive’ model, agency and body-ownership are strongly related; the ability to control actions is a powerful cue to body-ownership. This view implies a component common to the senses of body-ownership and agency, plus possible additional components unique to agency. An alternative ‘independence’ model holds that agency and body-ownership are qualitatively different experiences, triggered by different inputs, and recruiting distinct brain networks. We tested these two specific models by investigating the sensory and motor aspects of body-representation in the brain using fMRI. Activations in midline cortical structures were associated with a sensory-driven sense of body-ownership, and were absent in agency conditions. Activity in the pre-SMA was linked to the sense of agency, but distinct from the sense of body-ownership. No shared activations that would support the additive model were found. The results support the independence model. Body-ownership involves a psychophysiological baseline, linked to activation of the brain’s default mode network. Agency is linked to premotor and parietal areas involved in generating motor intentions and subsequent action monitoring.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): agency, body-ownership, supplementary motor area, angular gyrus, parietal cortex, cortical midline structures
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Matthew Longo
    Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2013 11:31
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:59


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item