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Tobias F Beck, Dominik Endres, Axel Lindner, Martin A Giese; Active Sampling supported Comparison of Causal Inference Models for Agency Attribution in Goal-Directed Actions. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):838. doi: 10.1167/14.10.838.
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Perception of own actions is influenced by visual information and predictions from internal forward models . Integrating these information sources depends critically on whether visual consequences are associated with one's own action (sense of agency) or with changes in the external world unrelated to the action  and the accuracy of integrated signals . Attribution of percepts to consequences of own actions depends thus on the consistency between internally predicted and actual visual signals. However, is the attribution of agency rather a binary decision ('I did, or did not cause the visual consequences of the action' ), or is this process based on a more gradual attribution of the degree of agency? Both alternatives result in different behaviors of causal inference models, which we try to distinguish by model comparison. METHODS. We used a virtual-reality setup to manipulate the consistency between pointing movements and their visual consequences. We investigated the influence of this manipulation on self-action perception. We compared two Bayesian causal inference models to the experimental data, one with a binary latent agency variable , and one with a continuous latent agency variable . Here, subject-specific regions for stimulus conditions that maximally differentiate between the two models were identified online using Active Sampling methods  to evaluate relative model evidences with a small number of samples. RESULTS/CONCLUSION. Both models correctly predict the data, and specifically empirical agency ratings showing high attribution of agency for small deviations between sensory and predicted feedback. Some participants show signatures of a binary internal representation of agency. In addition, relationships with other inference models  are discussed.  Wolpert et al.,Science,269,1995.  Körding et al.,PLoS ONE,2(9),2007. Shams&Beierholm,TiCS,14,2010.  Burge et al.,JVis,8(4),2008.  Beck et al.,Jvis,13(9),2013.  Marko et al.,JNPhys,108,2012. Ernst,Jvis,7(5),2007.  MacKay,NeuralComp,4(4),1992. Paninski,NeuralComp,17(7),2005.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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