Sense of Agency Enhances Visual Signal Detection and Metacognitive Sensitivity

19 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2023

See all articles by Ubuka Tagami

Ubuka Tagami

Ochanomizu University

Shu Imaizumi

Ochanomizu University


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

Suggested Citation

Tagami, Ubuka and Imaizumi, Shu, Sense of Agency Enhances Visual Signal Detection and Metacognitive Sensitivity. Available at SSRN: or

Ubuka Tagami

Ochanomizu University ( email )

2-1-1 Ohtsuka
Tokyo, 112-8610

Shu Imaizumi (Contact Author)

Ochanomizu University

2-1-1 Otsuka
Bunkyo, Tokyo 112-8610

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