Consciousness and Agency

Investigations on consciousness mainly observe changes and alterations of consciousness states. The primary studies in the neuroscientific field focus in particular on states of consciousness and deficits caused by injuries and strokes that interrupt the normal functioning of human senses and cognition. Another construct mainly observed in the neuroscientific field is the sense of action that consists in the awareness of oneself and in the ability to act actively in the external environment. The ability to act, defined as an agent, allows people to direct the outcome of their behavior by intervening on the surrounding environment and the living environment. Cognitive neuroscience thus opens the way to a conception of individuals as active agents. Individually, recent conceptual, technological and methodological advances in the neuroscientific field open new frontiers for the investigation of the agency, such as virtual reality.

Keywords: Consciousness; Sense of Action; Agency

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Research Unit in Affective and Social Neuroscience

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart

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