Sense of Agency Enhances Visual Signal Detection and Metacognitive Sensitivity
19 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2023
Human vision occasionally falsely detects objects under noise. Such false perceptions are known to be induced by a lack of control. Given that both hallucinations and a decreased sense of agency can be explained by the discrepancy between the predicted and actual sensory feedback of motor action, we hypothesized that false perception increased with a decreased sense of agency. Here, we tested the influence of sense of agency on visual detection by asking participants to perform voluntary keypress with delayed feedback (i.e., white noise with/without an object) and exploratorily investigated metacognition of visual detection. Contrary to our hypothesis, a decreased sense of agency over visual feedback did not increase false perception. However, correct signal detection and metacognitive sensitivity were enhanced by an intact sense of agency. A sense of agency may sharpen sensory representations of upcoming visual feedback, promote detection of a signal, and sensitize metacognition of this detection.
Keywords: Action, Self, Control, Comparator model, Signal detection theory, Metacognition, Hallucination, False perception
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