Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-2-2020

Faculty Advisor(s)

Uri Maoz


The goal of this experiment is to test a model of the sense of agency, intention, volition, and causality in order to examine the time course of the sense of agency associated with voluntary and involuntary movements. We examine the roles of context, expectation, and sensory feedback in the feeling of agency as well as examining the aspects of volition in different kinds of decisions. This experiment is thought to be very novel as it stimulates an internal signal for movement from an external source which is why the participant can find it hard to decipher if they are fully in control of their actions or not. The project explores the participants' self-reported level of agency, to see the range and types of precept that emerge among the individuals. It will examine the role of context and expectation and compare different forms of volition and decision. The non-invasive, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) stimulates the motor cortex, intermixing the resultant motor movements with motor movement of the participant’s own volition. TMS is a method of brain stimulation that relies on electromagnetic induction using an insulated coil placed on the scalp, to elevate brain function. The TMS coil will be placed above the scalp in a position that triggers a slight hand movement, the subject will then be instructed to make the same movement at will. It is expected that the participant will report ambiguity when asked whether the movement was due to them or the TMS. There should be an effect on the sense of agency by the TMS especially when it is close to the voluntary movement.


Presented at the virtual Fall 2020 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.