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Believing and perceiving: Authorship belief modulates sensory attenuation

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Weiss,  Carmen
Max Planck Research Group Body and Self, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Schütz-Bosbach,  Simone
Max Planck Research Group Body and Self, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Desantis_2012_Believing.pdf
(Publisher version), 195KB

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Citation

Desantis, A., Weiss, C., Schütz-Bosbach, S., & Waszak, F. (2012). Believing and perceiving: Authorship belief modulates sensory attenuation. PLoS One, 7(5): e37959. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037959.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-E86B-F
Abstract
Sensory attenuation refers to the observation that self-generated stimuli are attenuated, both in terms of their phenomenology and their cortical response compared to the same stimuli when generated externally. Accordingly, it has been assumed that sensory attenuation might help individuals to determine whether a sensory event was caused by themselves or not. In the present study, we investigated whether this dependency is reciprocal, namely whether sensory attenuation is modulated by prior beliefs of authorship. Participants had to judge the loudness of auditory effects that they believed were either self-generated or triggered by another person. However, in reality, the sounds were always triggered by the participants' actions. Participants perceived the tones' loudness attenuated when they believed that the sounds were self-generated compared to when they believed that they were generated by another person. Sensory attenuation is considered to contribute to the emergence of people's belief of authorship. Our results suggest that sensory attenuation is also a consequence of prior belief about the causal link between an action and a sensory change in the environment.