Our sense of agency refers to the feeling of being in control of our actions and, through them, of events in the external world. During my PhD I investigated how action selection processes inform our experience of agency prospectively, and independently of monitoring the outcomes of action. We used a variety of tasks to manipulate action selection, both consciously and unconsciously. Our results showed that difficulty during action selection leads to a reduction in our sense of agency. Whereas a lot of research on the sense of agency has focused on how we link our actions to their consequences, our work demonstrates that it additionally integrates metacognitive information about how we generate our actions.
My current work will continue to explore the relation between metacognition, action, and the sense of agency. We will investigate how action may influence perceptual metacognition, as well as how metacognition of action may influence instrumental learning, and behavioural adaptation.