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Readiness Potential Reflects the Predictive Aspect of Sense of Agency

Readiness Potential Reflects the Predictive Aspect of Sense of Agency

Rin Minohara, Wen Wen, Shunsuke Hamasaki, Takaki Maeda, Hiroshi Yamakawa, Satoshi Shibuya, Yukari Ohki, Atsushi Yamashita, Hajime Asama
University of Tokio

Sense of Agency (SoA) refers to the experience of con- trolling external events. SoA is considered to have pre- dictive and postdictive aspect. Recent studies have inves- tigated the relationship between SoA and event-related potentials, but these studies focused only on the postdic- tive aspect, while the brain activities related to the predic- tive aspect of SoA remain unclear. In the present study, we focused on readiness potential (RP) and examined the influence of prediction of SoA on RP. In the exper- iment, participants pressed a key to trigger a tone, and the event-related potentials before and after the key-press was recorded. In the normal predictive condition, all the tones were presented after key-press, thus participants could predict that their key-press would probably cause a tone. In contrast, in the low predictive condition, one third of the tones were presented before the key-presses, thus the causability of key-presses on tones were doubt- ful. The results indicated earlier RP in the normal pre- dictive condition relative to the low predictive condition, although the difference did not reach significant level due to the small sample size. We will increase participants to confirm the difference in RP between the two predictive conditions in future work. We believe that our work pro- vides important knowledge for the understanding of the neural basis of SoA.

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