Scientific article

TMS stimulation over the inferior parietal cortex disrupts prospective sense of agency

Published inBrain structure & function, vol. 220, no. 6, p. 3627-3639
Publication date2015

Sense of agency refers to the feeling of controlling an external event through one's own action. On one influential view, sense of agency is inferred after an action, by "retrospectively" comparing actual effects of actions against their intended effects. However, it has been recently shown that earlier processes, linked to action selection, may also contribute to sense of agency, in advance of the action itself, and independently of action effects. The inferior parietal cortex (IPC) may underpin this "prospective" contribution to agency, by monitoring signals relating to fluency of action selection in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Here, we combined transcranial stimulation (TMS) with subliminal priming of action selection to investigate the causal role of these regions in the prospective coding of agency. In a first experiment, we showed that TMS over left IPC at the time of action selection disrupts perceived control over subsequent effects of action. In a second experiment, we exploited the temporal specificity of single-pulse TMS to pinpoint the exact timing of IPC contribution to sense of agency. We replicated the reduction in perceived control at the point of action selection, while observing no effect of TMS-induced disruption of IPC at the time of action outcomes.

  • Action selection
  • Agency
  • Inferior parietal cortex
  • Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • Single-pulse TMS
  • Autre - DIM-NERF
Citation (ISO format)
CHAMBON, Valérian, MOORE, James W, HAGGARD, Patrick. TMS stimulation over the inferior parietal cortex disrupts prospective sense of agency. In: Brain structure & function, 2015, vol. 220, n° 6, p. 3627–3639. doi: 10.1007/s00429-014-0878-6
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1863-2653

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