Ageing and agency: age-related changes in susceptibility to illusory experiences of control

Cioffi, Maria Cristina; Cocchini, Gianna; Banissy, Michael J. and Moore, James W.. 2017. Ageing and agency: age-related changes in susceptibility to illusory experiences of control. Royal Society Open Science, 4(5), 161065. ISSN 2054-5703 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Sense of agency (SoAg) is the feeling of control over one's actions and their effects. It can be augmented or attenuated by internal signals and by external cues. Research has shown a reduction in the SoAg in older adulthood, but the reasons behind this change remain unclear. We investigated agency processing differences that may underpin age-related changes in SoAg. Using a modified version of a vicarious agency paradigm, we tested the modulation of SoAg by manipulating external situational agency cues in younger and older adults. Our results show that the illusion of vicarious agency was less pronounced in older adults. These results were replicated in a second experiment which also showed that older adults performed significantly better in interoception and proprioception tasks. We suggest that increased reliance on internal cues may explain differences in agency processing in older adulthood.

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ageing, consciousness, volition, interception, proprioception

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21 April 2017Accepted
24 May 2017Published

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Date Deposited:

20 Nov 2017 12:13

Last Modified:

03 Aug 2021 15:05

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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