Suppression of the N1 auditory evoked potential for sounds generated by the upper and lower limbs

Michiel Van Elk, Roy Salomon, Oliver Kannape, Olaf Blanke

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36 Scopus citations


Sensory attenuation is typically observed for self-generated compared to externally generated action effects. In the present study we investigated whether auditory sensory suppression is modulated as a function of sounds being generated by the upper or lower limbs. We report sensory attenuation, as reflected in a reduced auditory N1 component, which was comparable for sounds generated by the lower and the upper limbs. Increasing temporal delays between actions and sounds did not modulate suppression of the N1 component, but did have an effect on the latency of the N1 component. In contrast, for the P2 component sensory suppression was only observed for sounds generated by the hands and presented at short latencies. These findings provide new insight into the functional and neural dynamics of sensory suppression and suggest the existence of comparable agency mechanisms for both the upper and the lower limbs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-117
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The present study was supported by the Marie Curie Intra European Fellowship within the Seventh European Community Framework Program (IEF grant 252713 to MVE) and the Dutch Science Organization (VENI grant no. 016.135.135). OB is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation , the European Science Foundation , and the Fondation Bertarelli. Roy Salomon was supported by the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) “SYNAPSY—The Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases” financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (n° 51AU40_125759).


  • Agency
  • Auditory N1
  • EEG
  • Efferent copy
  • Forward models
  • Sensory suppression
  • Upper and lower limbs


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