'Intentional binding' describes the perceived temporal attraction between a voluntary action and its sensory consequence. Binding has been used in health and disease as an indirect measure of awareness of action or agency, that is, the sense that one controls one's own actions. It has been proposed that binding results from cue integration, in which a voluntary action provides information about the timing of its consequences or vice versa. The perception of the timing of either event is then a weighted average, determined according to the reliability of each of these two cues. Here we tested the contribution of cue integration to the perception of action and its sensory effect in binding, that is, action and tone binding, by manipulating the sensory reliability of the outcome tone. As predicted, when tone reliability was reduced, action binding was diminished and tone binding was increased. However, further analyses showed that cue integration accounted for changes in action binding, but not tone binding. These findings establish a role for cue integration in action binding and support the growing evidence suggesting that action and tone binding are, at least in part, driven by distinct mechanisms.
Experimental Brain Research, 2013, Vol 229, Issue 3, p. 467-474