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Curr Biol. 2005 Jun 21;15(12):1119-24.

Disorders of agency in schizophrenia correlate with an inability to compensate for the sensory consequences of actions.

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Department of Cognitive Neurology, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 3, D72076 Tübingen, Germany.


Psychopathological symptoms in schizophrenia patients suggest that the concept of self might be disturbed in these individuals [1]. Delusions of influence make them feel that someone else is guiding their actions, and certain kinds of their hallucinations seem to be misinterpretations of their own inner voice as an external voice, the common denominator being that self-produced information is perceived as if coming from outside. If this interpretation were correct, we might expect that schizophrenia patients might also attribute the sensory consequences of their own eye movements to the environment rather than to themselves, challenging the percept of a stable world. Indeed, this seems to be the case because we found a clear correlation between the strength of delusions of influence and the ability of schizophrenia patients to cancel out such self-induced retinal information in motion perception. This correlation reflects direct experimental evidence supporting the view that delusions of influence in schizophrenia might be due to a specific deficit in the perceptual compensation of the sensory consequences of one's own actions [1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6].

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