Summary: Voluntary activity without external compulsion.

Top Publications

  1. Nichols S. Experimental philosophy and the problem of free will. Science. 2011;331:1401-3 pubmed publisher
    ..It remains unclear why people reject determinism and what drives people's conflicted attitudes about responsibility. Experimental philosophy aims to address these issues and thereby illuminate the philosophical problem of free will. ..
  2. Dogge M, Schaap M, Custers R, Wegner D, Aarts H. When moving without volition: implied self-causation enhances binding strength between involuntary actions and effects. Conscious Cogn. 2012;21:501-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Since intrinsic motor cues of movement were absent, these results suggest that sensory evidence about the key press caused binding in retrospect and in line with the participant's sense of being an agent. ..
  3. Moore J, Wegner D, Haggard P. Modulating the sense of agency with external cues. Conscious Cogn. 2009;18:1056-64 pubmed publisher
    ..We propose that sense of agency is based on a combination of internal motoric signals and external sensory evidence about the source of actions and effects. ..
  4. Custers R, Aarts H. The unconscious will: how the pursuit of goals operates outside of conscious awareness. Science. 2010;329:47-50 pubmed publisher
    ..Here we analyze how goal pursuit can possibly operate unconsciously. ..
  5. Vansteenkiste M, Williams G, Resnicow K. Toward systematic integration between self-determination theory and motivational interviewing as examples of top-down and bottom-up intervention development: autonomy or volition as a fundamental theoretical principle. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2012;9:23 pubmed publisher
    ..Nevertheless, for a deeper integration to take place, we contend that MI researchers might want to embrace autonomy as a fundamental basic process underlying therapeutic change and we discuss the advantages of doing so. ..
  6. Desmurget M, Reilly K, Richard N, Szathmari A, Mottolese C, Sirigu A. Movement intention after parietal cortex stimulation in humans. Science. 2009;324:811-3 pubmed publisher
    ..Yet, patients firmly denied that they had moved. Conscious intention and motor awareness thus arise from increased parietal activity before movement execution. ..
  7. Cameron I, Coe B, Watanabe M, Stroman P, Munoz D. Role of the basal ganglia in switching a planned response. Eur J Neurosci. 2009;29:2413-25 pubmed publisher
    ..This suggests that the BG are important for compensating for differences in response difficulty, facilitating the rapid switching of one response for another. ..
  8. Schardt D, Erk S, Nüsser C, Nothen M, Cichon S, Rietschel M, et al. Volition diminishes genetically mediated amygdala hyperreactivity. Neuroimage. 2010;53:943-51 pubmed publisher
  9. Moore J, Haggard P. Intentional binding and higher order agency experience. Conscious Cogn. 2010;19:490-1 pubmed publisher
    ..Notwithstanding certain issues arising from their study, which are discussed, we believe it offers validation of binding as a measure of sense of agency. ..

More Information


  1. Watanabe M, Munoz D. Presetting basal ganglia for volitional actions. J Neurosci. 2010;30:10144-57 pubmed publisher
  2. Moretto G, Schwingenschuh P, Katschnig P, Bhatia K, Haggard P. Delayed experience of volition in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2011;82:1324-7 pubmed publisher
    ..These data suggest an abnormal experience of volition in patients with TS...
  3. Prasad A, Sahin M. Can motor volition be extracted from the spinal cord?. J Neuroeng Rehabil. 2012;9:41 pubmed publisher
    ..Multi-unit recording technique may prove to be a viable alternative to single neuron recording methods for reading the information encoded by neuronal populations in the spinal cord. ..
  4. Fried I, Mukamel R, Kreiman G. Internally generated preactivation of single neurons in human medial frontal cortex predicts volition. Neuron. 2011;69:548-62 pubmed publisher
    ..We implement a computational model whereby volition emerges once a change in internally generated firing rate of neuronal assemblies crosses a threshold.
  5. Roskies A. How does neuroscience affect our conception of volition?. Annu Rev Neurosci. 2010;33:109-30 pubmed publisher
    Although there is no clear concept of volition or the will, we do have intuitive ideas that characterize the will, agency, and voluntary behavior...
  6. Synofzik M, Vosgerau G, Lindner A. Me or not me--an optimal integration of agency cues?. Conscious Cogn. 2009;18:1065-8 pubmed publisher
    ..We here argue that this framework could allow integrating the findings of Moore and colleagues and other recent agency studies into a comprehensive picture of the sense of agency and its pathological disruptions. ..
  7. Moore J, Fletcher P. Sense of agency in health and disease: a review of cue integration approaches. Conscious Cogn. 2012;21:59-68 pubmed publisher
    ..We extend this to consider how alterations in cue integration may lead to aberrant experiences of agency. ..
  8. Haggard P. Neuroscience. The sources of human volition. Science. 2009;324:731-3 pubmed publisher
  9. Knight C, Kamen G. Relationships between voluntary activation and motor unit firing rate during maximal voluntary contractions in young and older adults. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2008;103:625-30 pubmed publisher
    ..05), respectively. The training program elicited parallel increases in muscular activation and maximal firing rates. These results provide direct support for maximal firing rate as a significant factor limiting maximal force production. ..
  10. Gold J, Shadlen M. The neural basis of decision making. Annu Rev Neurosci. 2007;30:535-74 pubmed
    ..We focus on simple decisions that can be studied in the laboratory but emphasize general principles likely to extend to other settings. ..
  11. Maruya K, Yang E, Blake R. Voluntary action influences visual competition. Psychol Sci. 2007;18:1090-8 pubmed
    ..Thus, self-generated actions can influence the resolution of perceptual conflict, even when the object being controlled falls outside of visual awareness. ..
  12. Lotze M, Cohen L. Volition and imagery in neurorehabilitation. Cogn Behav Neurol. 2006;19:135-40 pubmed
    ..This chapter examines the role of two possible mechanisms that could operate to improve motor function in this setting: volition and motor imagery. It is argued that both represent possible strategies to enhance training effects.
  13. Linser K, Goschke T. Unconscious modulation of the conscious experience of voluntary control. Cognition. 2007;104:459-75 pubmed
    ..This prime-induced control-illusion was independent from whether primes were consciously perceived. Results indicate that the conscious experience of control is modulated by unconscious anticipations of action-effects. ..
  14. Goldberg I, Ullman S, Malach R. Neuronal correlates of "free will" are associated with regional specialization in the human intrinsic/default network. Conscious Cogn. 2008;17:587-601 pubmed
    ..The results support a self-related role for the intrinsic system and provide clear evidence for both hemispheric and regional specialization in the human intrinsic system. ..
  15. Astolfi L, Bakardjian H, Cincotti F, Mattia D, Marciani M, de Vico Fallani F, et al. Estimate of causality between independent cortical spatial patterns during movement volition in spinal cord injured patients. Brain Topogr. 2007;19:107-23 pubmed
    ..In this study, we attempted to estimate the causality between distributed cortical systems during a movement volition task in preparation for execution of simple movements by a group of normal healthy subjects and by a group of ..
  16. Lafargue G, Franck N. Effort awareness and sense of volition in schizophrenia. Conscious Cogn. 2009;18:277-89 pubmed publisher
    ..We will further focus on delusions of alien control in schizophrenic patients. Experimental data suggest that these patients have an abnormal awareness of effort caused by cerebral anomalies in the frontal and parietal lobes. ..
  17. Carlsen A, Chua R, Timothy Inglis J, Sanderson D, Franks I. Motor preparation in an anticipation-timing task. Exp Brain Res. 2008;190:453-61 pubmed publisher
  18. Curtis C, Connolly J. Saccade preparation signals in the human frontal and parietal cortices. J Neurophysiol. 2008;99:133-45 pubmed
    ..e., anticue location). These findings support the hypothesis that both the human frontal and parietal cortices are involved in the spatial selection and preparation of saccades. ..
  19. Synofzik M, Vosgerau G, Newen A. Beyond the comparator model: a multifactorial two-step account of agency. Conscious Cogn. 2008;17:219-39 pubmed
    ..Our framework, however, is able to provide a unified account for the sense of agency for both actions and thoughts. ..
  20. Berntsen D, Jacobsen A. Involuntary (spontaneous) mental time travel into the past and future. Conscious Cogn. 2008;17:1093-104 pubmed publisher
    ..The findings are discussed in relation to cultural learning and MTT considered as a higher mental process. ..
  21. Soenens B, Vansteenkiste M, Lens W, Luyckx K, Goossens L, Beyers W, et al. Conceptualizing parental autonomy support: adolescent perceptions of promotion of independence versus promotion of volitional functioning. Dev Psychol. 2007;43:633-46 pubmed
    ..001). Results are discussed in terms of the type of autonomy that parents might want to facilitate among their adolescents to foster well-being. ..
  22. Haggard P. Human volition: towards a neuroscience of will. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2008;9:934-46 pubmed publisher
    ..b>Volition consists of a series of decisions regarding whether to act, what action to perform and when to perform it...
  23. Isoda M, Hikosaka O. Switching from automatic to controlled action by monkey medial frontal cortex. Nat Neurosci. 2007;10:240-8 pubmed
    ..Our data suggest that the pre-SMA resolves response conflict so that the desired action can be selected. ..
  24. Nachev P, Husain M, Kennard C. Volition and eye movements. Prog Brain Res. 2008;171:391-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Assigning volition--or some paraphrase such as action selection--to discrete parts of the brain arguably tells us nothing about what ..
  25. Fairhall S, Kirk I, Hamm J. Volition and the idle cortex: beta oscillatory activity preceding planned and spontaneous movement. Conscious Cogn. 2007;16:221-8 pubmed
    ..A model is considered where by distributed neural activity remains outside of conscious awareness through the persistence of tonic slow wave cortical oscillations. ..
  26. Janssen L, Beuting M, Meulenbroek R, Steenbergen B. Combined effects of planning and execution constraints on bimanual task performance. Exp Brain Res. 2009;192:61-73 pubmed publisher
    ..The lateralized end-state comfort effect suggests a hemispheric specialization for motor planning. ..
  27. Kring A, Gur R, Blanchard J, Horan W, Reise S. The Clinical Assessment Interview for Negative Symptoms (CAINS): final development and validation. Am J Psychiatry. 2013;170:165-72 pubmed publisher
    ..The CAINS is an empirically developed and evaluated measure of negative symptoms. Findings indicate that the CAINS is brief yet comprehensive and employable across a wide range of research and clinical contexts. ..
  28. Walther S, Federspiel A, Horn H, Wiest R, Dierks T, Strik W, et al. White matter integrity associated with volitional motor activity. Neuroreport. 2010;21:381-5 pubmed publisher
    ..Volitional motor activity was associated with white matter integrity in motor relevant fiber tracts. ..
  29. Festini S, Reuter Lorenz P. The short- and long-term consequences of directed forgetting in a working memory task. Memory. 2013;21:763-77 pubmed publisher
    ..Implications for theories of false memory and the mechanisms of directed forgetting within working memory are discussed. ..
  30. Frith C. The psychology of volition. Exp Brain Res. 2013;229:289-99 pubmed publisher
    b>Volition can be studied from two perspectives. From the third-person view, volitional behaviour is internally generated, rather than being determined by the immediate environmental context, and is therefore, to some extent, unpredictable...
  31. Watanabe M, Matsuo Y, Zha L, Munoz D, Kobayashi Y. Fixational saccades reflect volitional action preparation. J Neurophysiol. 2013;110:522-35 pubmed publisher
    ..These results suggest that fixational saccades predict the outcome of future volitional actions and may be used as a potential biomarker to detect people with difficulties in volitional action preparation. ..
  32. Stephenson R, Chard A, Finneran C, Sullivan P. Willingness to use couples voluntary counseling and testing services among men who have sex with men in seven countries. AIDS Care. 2014;26:191-8 pubmed publisher
  33. Inambao M, Kilembe W, Canary L, Czaicki N, Kakungu Simpungwe M, Chavuma R, et al. Transitioning couple's voluntary HIV counseling and testing (CVCT) from stand-alone weekend services into routine antenatal and VCT services in government clinics in Zambia's two largest cities. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0185142 pubmed publisher
  34. De Luca C, Jantzen K, Comani S, Bertollo M, Kelso J. Striatal activity during intentional switching depends on pattern stability. J Neurosci. 2010;30:3167-74 pubmed publisher
    ..Though compatible with recent computational models of basal ganglia function, our results further suggest that pattern stability determines how the basal ganglia efficiently and successfully select among response alternatives. ..
  35. Dirnberger G, Jahanshahi M. Response selection in dual task paradigms: observations from random generation tasks. Exp Brain Res. 2010;201:535-48 pubmed publisher
    ..Resources of the central executive are not re-allocated or 'switched' from one to the other task. Dual task costs may result from mechanisms effective within each trial such as the demands of response selection. ..
  36. Jaffe E, Aviel E, Aharonson Daniel L, Nave M, Knobler H. Factors influencing the willingness of volunteer paramedics to re-volunteer in a time of war. Isr Med Assoc J. 2010;12:526-30 pubmed
    ..Factors that contribute to the willingness of volunteers to re-volunteer should be taken into account by organizations that rely on them. ..
  37. Guglielmo S, Malle B. Enough skill to kill: intentionality judgments and the moral valence of action. Cognition. 2010;117:139-50 pubmed publisher
    ..The present studies thus speak against the hypothesis of a moral evaluation bias in intentionality judgments and instead document people's sensitivity to subtle features of human action. ..
  38. McAuliffe J, Johnson M, Weaver B, Deller Quinn M, Hansen S. Body position differentially influences responses to exogenous and endogenous cues. Atten Percept Psychophys. 2013;75:1342-6 pubmed publisher
    ..The results reveal a potential dissociation between reflexive and volitional orienting of visual attention that is dependent on vestibular inputs. ..
  39. Lee W, Reeve J. Self-determined, but not non-self-determined, motivation predicts activations in the anterior insular cortex: an fMRI study of personal agency. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2013;8:538-45 pubmed publisher
    ..We conclude that self-determined behavior is more agentic than is non-self-determined behavior and that personal agency arises only during self-determined, intrinsically motivated action. ..
  40. Sayim B, Grubert A, Herzog M, Krummenacher J. Display probability modulates attentional capture by onset distractors. J Vis. 2010;10:10.1-8 pubmed publisher
    ..We suggest that modulation was due to statistical learning. This study adds further evidence that bottom-up processes are not completely automatic. ..
  41. Hunt K, Hosmann D, Grob M, Saengsuwan J. Metabolic efficiency of volitional and electrically stimulated cycling in able-bodied subjects. Med Eng Phys. 2013;35:919-25 pubmed publisher
    ..In FES cycling with paralysed subjects, disrupted sensory feedback and vasomotor control may play a further, albeit smaller, role in the reduced efficiency. ..
  42. Eisenmann J, Wickel E, Kelly S, MIDDLETON K, Garland T. Day-to-day variability in voluntary wheel running among genetically differentiated lines of mice that vary in activity level. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009;106:613-9 pubmed publisher
    ..4 +/- 7.6%; and Line 8, 25.0 +/- 14.4%). These findings are consistent with our previous work in young humans and lend further support for the hypothesis that biological mechanisms influence daily levels of physical activity. ..
  43. Racine S, Forbush K, Wildes J, Hagan K, Pollack L, May C. Voluntary emotion regulation in anorexia nervosa: A preliminary emotion-modulated startle investigation. J Psychiatr Res. 2016;77:1-7 pubmed publisher
    ..The EMSP may be a promising trans-diagnostic method for examining emotion regulation difficulties that underlie risk for eating disorders and other psychiatric conditions. ..
  44. Armitage C, Arden M. A volitional help sheet to increase physical activity in people with low socioeconomic status: A randomised exploratory trial. Psychol Health. 2010;25:1129-45 pubmed publisher
    ..The findings provide further support for volitional help sheets to change health behaviour and extend them to a group with low-SES. Further work is required to refine this intervention tool. ..
  45. Schwartz R, Bahadori R, Myseros J. Loud clicking sounds associated with rapid soft palate muscle contractions. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2012;28:158-9 pubmed publisher
    ..This type is characteristically associated with clicking tinnitus, heard by the affected person as well as those in close proximity. The clicking noise is not continuous, ceases during sleep, and is not lifelong. ..
  46. Johnson R, Culmer P, Burke M, Mon Williams M, Wilkie R. Exploring structural learning in handwriting. Exp Brain Res. 2010;207:291-5 pubmed publisher
  47. Hawco C, Armony J, Lepage M. Neural activity related to self-initiating elaborative semantic encoding in associative memory. Neuroimage. 2013;67:273-82 pubmed publisher
    ..We suggest that the DLPFC is the most likely candidate region for the self-initiation of elaborative encoding while the supramarginal activity is likely related to attentional effects. ..
  48. Karppinen H, Laakkonen M, Strandberg T, Tilvis R, Pitkala K. Will-to-live and survival in a 10-year follow-up among older people. Age Ageing. 2012;41:789-94 pubmed publisher
    ..66 (95% CI: 0.45-0.95) (P = 0.027) and 0.47 (95% CI: 0.26-0.86) (P = 0.011) in groups 2 and 3, respectively. the will-to-live was a strong predictor for survival among older people irrespective of age, gender and comorbidities. ..
  49. Alonso Tapia J, Huertas J, Ruiz M. On the nature of motivational orientations: implications of assessed goals and gender differences for motivational goal theory. Span J Psychol. 2010;13:232-43 pubmed
  50. Klous M, Mikulic P, Latash M. Early postural adjustments in preparation to whole-body voluntary sway. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2012;22:110-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Both types of adjustments fit well the referent configuration hypothesis, which offers a unified view on movement-posture control. ..
  51. Nahab F, Kundu P, Maurer C, Shen Q, Hallett M. Impaired sense of agency in functional movement disorders: An fMRI study. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0172502 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings provide some of the strongest evidence to date for a physiological basis underlying these disabling disorders. ..
  52. Battapady H, Lin P, Fei D, Huang D, Bai O. Single trial detection of human movement intentions from SAM-filtered MEG signals for a high performance two-dimensional BCI. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2009;2009:524-7 pubmed publisher
  53. White P. Property transmission: an explanatory account of the role of similarity information in causal inference. Psychol Bull. 2009;135:774-93 pubmed publisher