Noisy visual feedback training impairs detection of self-generated movement error: implications for anosognosia for hemiplegia

Catherine Preston, Roger Newport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anosognosia for hemiplegia (AHP) is characterized as a disorder in which patients are unaware of their contralateral motor deficit. Many current theories for unawareness in AHP are based on comparator model accounts of the normal experience of agency. According to such models, while small mismatches between predicted and actual feedback allow unconscious fine-tuning of normal actions, mismatches that surpass an inherent threshold reach conscious awareness and inform judgments of agency (whether a given movement is produced by the self or another agent). This theory depends on a threshold for consciousness that is greater than the intrinsic noise in the system to reduce the occurrence of incorrect rejections of self-generated movements and maintain a fluid experience of agency. Pathological increases to this threshold could account for reduced motor awareness following brain injury, including AHP. The current experiment tested this hypothesis in healthy controls by exposing them to training in which noise was applied the visual feedback of their normal reaches. Subsequent self/other attribution tasks without noise revealed a decrease in the ability to detect manipulated (other) feedback compared to training without noise. This suggests a slackening of awareness thresholds in the comparator model that may help to explain clinical observations of decreased action awareness following stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456
JournalFrontiers in human neuroscience
Early online date24 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this