Neural correlates of sense of agency in motor control: A neuroimaging meta-analysis.

Zito, Giuseppe A.; Wiest, Roland; Aybek, Selma (2020). Neural correlates of sense of agency in motor control: A neuroimaging meta-analysis. PLoS ONE, 15(6), e0234321. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0234321

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The sense of agency (SoA) refers to the perception that an action is the consequence of one's own intention. Studies exploring the SoA with neuroimaging techniques summarized the available data and confirmed a role of fronto-parietal areas and subcortical structures. However, these studies focused on specific regions of interest. We thus conducted a whole-brain meta-analysis to verify which regions emerge as significant for the SoA, specifically during motor execution. We performed a systematic search on PubMed, PsycINFO and Cochrane databases with the following inclusion criteria: studies investigating SoA with a visuo-motor task by means of neuroimaging in healthy subjects. We performed a quantitative, whole-brain, meta-analysis of neural correlates of the SoA based on the activation likelihood estimation. Of the 785 articles identified by our search, 22 studies met our inclusion criteria (169 foci, 295 subjects for decreased agency, and 58 foci, 165 subjects for normal agency). Neural correlates of decreased agency were the bilateral temporo-parietal junction (MNI: 50,-54,14; -44,-52,42; -48,-56,8). Normal agency showed no significant clusters of activation. This meta-analysis confirmed the key role of areas responsible for decreased SoA during motor control, whereas normal agency did not show a specific neural signature. This study sets the ground for future regions-of-interest analyses of neural correlates of SoA, as well as potential neuromodulation studies, which might be relevant in medical conditions presenting with abnormal SoA.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Zito, Giuseppe Angelo, Wiest, Roland Gerhard Rudi, Aybek Rusca, Selma


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Public Library of Science




Martin Zbinden

Date Deposited:

02 Jul 2020 16:39

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:33

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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