Thought consciousness and source monitoring depend on robotically controlled sensorimotor conflicts and illusory states

Andrea Serino, Polona Pozeg, Fosco Bernasconi, Marco Solcà, Masayuki Hara, Pierre Progin, Giedre Stripeikyte, Herberto Dhanis, Roy Salomon, Hannes Bleuler, Giulio Rognini, Olaf Blanke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Thought insertion (TI) is characterized by the experience that certain thoughts, occurring in one's mind, are not one's own, but the thoughts of somebody else and suggestive of a psychotic disorder. We report a robotics-based method able to investigate the behavioral and subjective mechanisms of TI in healthy participants. We used a robotic device to alter body perception by providing online sensorimotor stimulation, while participants performed cognitive tasks implying source monitoring of mental states attributed to either oneself or another person. Across several experiments, conflicting sensorimotor stimulation reduced the distinction between self- and other-generated thoughts and was, moreover, associated with the experimentally generated feeling of being in the presence of an alien agent and subjective aspects of TI. Introducing a new robotics-based approach that enables the experimental study of the brain mechanisms of TI, these results link TI to predictable self-other shifts in source monitoring and specific sensorimotor processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101955
JournaliScience
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 22 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors

Keywords

  • Psychology
  • Research Methodology Social Sciences
  • Robotics

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Thought consciousness and source monitoring depend on robotically controlled sensorimotor conflicts and illusory states'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this