Preemptive Action

Accelerating Human Reaction Using Electrical Muscle Stimulation Without Compromising Agency

Shunichi Kasahara (Sony CSL), Jun Nishida (The University of Chicago), Pedro Lopes (The University of Chicago)

Even computer actuates us before our will, we perceive “I did it” in some condition. We investigate time window and foundation of the induction of pseudo Sense of Agency with the preemptive action with EMS (Electrical muscle stimulation).

Limen for generating the sense of agency with the computational preemption

As the evolution of computer prediction and technology for direct control of the body itself, it will be possible to drive our body faster and more accurately than our own will. With this situation, what we have to guarantee is the sense of agency : the subjective awareness of initiating, executing, and controlling one's own volitional actions.

In this project, by using the EMS (muscle electrical stimulation), we artificially archived faster and voluntary congruent finger motion and then measured perceived agency score with various preemption parameters. We found that, when the user and system move congruently, user feels that they initiated the motion, yet their reaction time is faster than usual. Our analysis uncovered that there is a time window to hold the sense of agency even if it precedes the usual visual reaction by approximately 80-100 msec faster.

This is a collaborative research project with Jun Nishida and Pedro Lopes (The University of Chicago).

Talk / Presentation

The full paper about this project has been accepted for ACM CHI 2019. We will give a talk in CHI 2019 (May 4-9) at Glasgow, Scotland Uk,

Shunichi Kasahara, Jun Nishida, and Pedro Lopes. 2019. Preemptive Action: Accelerating Human Reaction using Electrical Muscle Stimulation Without Compromising Agency, In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Proceedings (CHI 2019), May 4-9, 2019, Glasgow, Scotland Uk. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 15 pages. (DOI link will be available in April)

Related Work

Jun Nishida, Shunichi Kasahara, and Kenji Suzuki. 2017. Wired muscle: generating faster kinesthetic reaction by inter-personally connecting muscles. In ACM SIGGRAPH 2017 Emerging Technologies (SIGGRAPH '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 26, 2 pages. DOI:

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