Intentional binding and obsessive-compulsive tendencies: A dissociation between indirect and direct measures of the sense of agency

Ela Oren, Baruch Eitam, Reuven Dar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined whether obsessive-compulsive (OC) tendencies are related to an impaired sense of agency (SoA). We examined agency using both indirect (“implicit”) and direct (“explicit”) measures, aiming to tap into different aspects of the sense of agency. We measured the SoA of participants with high vs. low scores on a measure of OC symptoms indirectly using a task that assesses the intentional binding effect, i.e., the subjective compression of the temporal interval between a voluntary action and its external sensory consequence. We also measured participants’ “illusory” SoA using a direct question about their SoA in conditions in which control was objectively absent. As predicted, high OC individuals’ levels of intentional binding were lower, whereas their levels of illusory control were higher than those of low OC individuals. We discuss the contributions of these findings to the understanding of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), stressing the importance of distinguishing between direct and indirect indices of the SoA when studying and/or treating OC individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
Volume20
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2019

Funding

FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation1352/15

    Keywords

    • Action selection
    • Agent
    • Intentional binding
    • OCD
    • Sense of agency

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