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  Agency and responsibility over virtual movements controlled through different paradigms of brain-computer interface

Nierula, B., Spanlang, B., Martini, M., Borrell, M., Nikulin, V. V., & Sanchez-Vives, M. V. (2019). Agency and responsibility over virtual movements controlled through different paradigms of brain-computer interface. Journal of Physiology. doi:10.1113/JP278167.

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Nierula, Birgit1, 2, Author              
Spanlang, Bernhard 2, Author
Martini, Matteo1, 2, Author
Borrell, Mireia2, Author
Nikulin, Vadim V.3, 4, Author              
Sanchez-Vives, Maria V. 1, 2, 5, 6, Author
1Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Barcelona, Spain, ou_persistent22              
2Event-Lab, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology, University of Barcelona, Spain, ou_persistent22              
3Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              
4Centre for Cognition and Decision Making, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ou_persistent22              
5Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain, ou_persistent22              
6Department of Basic Psychology, University of Barcelona, Spain, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: BCI; agency; visual evoked potentials; mu rhythm; brain-machine interfaces; motor imagery; embodiment; body ownership; virtual reality; motor action; motor activity; sense of agency
 Abstract: Agency is the attribution of an action to the self and is a prerequisite for experiencing responsibility over its consequences. Here we investigated agency and responsibility by studying the control of movements of an embodied avatar, via brain computer interface (BCI) technology, in immersive virtual reality. After induction of virtual body ownership by visuomotor correlations, healthy participants performed a motor taskwith their virtual body. We compared the passive observationof the subject’s ‘own’virtual arm performing All rights reserved. No reuse allowed without permission. (which was not peer-reviewed) is the author/funder, who has granted bioRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity.The copyright holder for this preprint. http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/735548doi: bioRxiv preprint first posted online Aug. 15, 2019; the task with (1) the control of the movement through activation of sensorimotor areas (motor imagery) and (2) the control of the movement through activation of visual areas (steady-state visually evoked potentials). The latter two conditions were carried out using a brain–computer interface (BCI) and both shared the intention and the resulting action. We found that BCI-control of movements engenders the sense of agency, which is strongestfor sensorimotor areas activation.Furthermore, increasedactivity of sensorimotor areas, as measured using EEG,correlates with levels of agency and responsibility. We discuss the implications of these results for the neural bases of agency, but also in the context of novel therapies involving BCI and the ethicsof neurotechnology.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019-04-212019-10-162019-12-03
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1113/JP278167
Other: Epub ahead of print
PMID: 31647122
 Degree: -



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Project information

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Project name : -
Grant ID : AGAUR 2014 SGR 855
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Generalitat de Catalunya
Project name : Virtual Embodiment and Robotic Re-Embodiment / VERE
Grant ID : 257695
Funding program : Funding Programme 7
Funding organization : European Commission (EC)

Source 1

Title: Journal of Physiology
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: London : Cambridge University Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: - Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0022-3751
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925334693