Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 234, Issue 5, pp 1163–1174 | Cite as

Agency elicits body-ownership: proprioceptive drift toward a synchronously acting external proxy

  • Tomohisa AsaiEmail author
Research Article


Awareness of our own bodies (sense of body-ownership) and actions (sense of agency) is fundamental for self-consciousness. In the rubber hand illusion, watching a rubber hand being stroked synchronously as one’s own unseen hand is also stroked causes the observer to attribute the rubber hand to their own body. The findings of the series of experiments reported here suggest that body-ownership, measured using proprioceptive drift, is elicited by the external acting proxy that drives the sense of agency. While participants clasped and unclasped their left hand for 60 s, they focused on video feedback on a monitor in front of them. Proprioceptive drift was observed only under the conditions, including synchronized conditions, where the sense of agency for the acting proxy occurred, suggesting an essential interaction between body-ownership and agency.


Body-ownership Agency Proprioceptive drift Self-consciousness 



This study was conducted at Chiba University and supported by a Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Fellowship (22-415). The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

221_2015_4231_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (95 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 94 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Information Science LaboratoryNTT Communication Science LaboratoriesAtsugi-shiJapan

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