Modeling disorder in the experience of agency




Evans, Amanda Lea

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Tim Bayne and Elisabeth Pacherie (2007) propose an integrated model for agentive awareness that incorporates features from both the narrator and the comparator-based accounts found in the literature. Although they think the comparator system is responsible for generating the bulk of agentive experience, they believe the narrator module is responsible for forming agentive judgments and conceptually-laden intentions. Crucially, they also suggest that in some instances the narrator module may “override” the deliverances of the low-level comparator mechanisms. In this paper, I apply Bayne and Pacherie’s integrated model to account for an issue in the psychopathology literature, namely the presence of anosognosia (i.e. ignorance with respect to one’s illness) in anorexia nervosa. In particular, I show that by implementing the integrated model we can solve a problem that arises out of a recent advancement in the empirical literature concerning anorexia’s pathogenesis and persistence. If my proposal is correct, the explanatory power of implementing an integrated model for agentive awareness would bolster Bayne and Pacherie’s account. It may also be of use to researchers seeking to develop a better understanding of anosognosia in anorexia nervosa, which remains a poorly understood feature of the disorder



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