Intentions and expectations in temporal binding

Consciousness and Cognition 16 (2):255-264 (2007)
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Abstract

Recently, it has been shown that the perceived times of voluntary movements and their effects are perceived as shifted towards each other. This temporal binding phenomenon was explained by an integrated representation of movement and effect, facilitating operant learning and the experience of intentionality. Here, we investigated whether temporal binding depends on explicit intentional attributions. In Experiment 1, participants intended to either produce or avoid producing an effect by the timing of their movements, with the ratio of success being fixed at 2:1. In Experiments 2 and 3, the influence of the action–effect contingency ratio on temporal binding was controlled for by removing the intentional attribution of the effect. The results indicate that temporal binding is a general associative mechanism that facilitates the learning of movement–effect contingencies. Beyond that, temporal binding is sensitive to explicit intentional attributions, which selectively enhance the link between an intentional movement and the effect a moving agent intends to produce

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