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Psychol Sci. 2017 May;28(5):661-669. doi: 10.1177/0956797616687015. Epub 2017 Mar 16.

The Power of Suggestion: Posthypnotically Induced Changes in the Temporal Binding of Intentional Action Outcomes.

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1 Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, University of Sussex.
2 School of Psychology, University of Sussex.
3 Department of Psychology, Université Libre de Bruxelles.
4 Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London.


The sense of agency is the experience of initiating and controlling one's voluntary actions and their outcomes. Intentional binding (i.e., when voluntary actions and their outcomes are perceived to occur closer together in time than involuntary actions and their outcomes) is increased in intentional action but requires no explicit reflection on agency. The reported experience of involuntariness is central to hypnotic responding, during which strategic action is experienced as involuntary. We report reduced intentional binding in a hypnotically induced experience of involuntariness, providing an objective correlate of reports of involuntariness. We argue that this reduced binding results from the diminished influence of motor intentions in the generation of the sense of agency when beliefs about whether an action is intended are altered. Thus, intentional binding depends on awareness of intentions. This finding shows that changes in metacognition of intentions affect perception.


hypnosis; intentional binding; metacognition; open data; sense of agency

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