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Conscious Cogn. 2012 Sep;21(3):1267-79. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2012.04.001. Epub 2012 Apr 25.

The sense of agency during skill learning in individuals and dyads.

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Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ, USA.


The sense of agency has received much attention in the context of individual action but not in the context of joint action. We investigated how the sense of agency developed during individual and dyadic performance while people learned a haptic coordination task. The sense of agency increased with better performance in all groups. Individuals and dyads showed a differential sense of agency after initial task learning, with dyads showing a minimal increase. The sense of agency depended on the context in which the task was first learnt, as transfer from joint to individual performance resulted in an illusory boost in the sense of agency. Whereas the quality of performance related to the sense of agency, the generated forces to achieve the task did not. Our findings are consistent with a predictive model account at the perceptual level, such that the sense of agency relies most strongly on sharable perceptual information.

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