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Modeling the integration of active inference and sense of agency for self-other distinction

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posted on 28.01.2019 by Sebastian Kahl

This poster was presented in January 2019, in Bochum, Germany, at the workshop on "Predictive Processing, Consciousness, and Self" (


People are able to infer a sense of agency for their actions, i.e., the sense that an action is self-generated. We hypothesize that a sense of agency also allows to infer an early (motor coordination level) distinction of own from other’s actions during non-verbal social interaction. To test this, we simulated the handwriting of numerals using a computational model based on principles of active inference. The model has no sense of another agent being present and it cannot see its own hand and the pen it holds. It only sees what is written on a white canvas, and has the ability to write. This is all the model knows about its world. Now when it writes, all it can do to distinguish its own action from that of another agent, is to recognize its own writing. This is especially tricky when another agent would try to write at the same time. We have run several simulation scenarios and will show the dynamics of the model’s behavior and judgements of sense of agency.


SPP 2134 - The Active Self