Abstract How do we know that our own actions belong to us? How are we able to distinguish self-generated sensory events from those that arise externally? In this paper, I will briefly discuss experiments that were designed to investigate these questions. In particularly, I will review psychophysical and neuroimaging studies that have investigated how we recognise the consequences of our own actions, and why patients with delusions of control confuse self-produced and externally produced actions and sensations. Studies investigating the failure of this ‘self-monitoring’ mechanism in patients with delusions of control will be discussed in the context of the hypothesis that overactivity in the parietal cortex and the cerebellum contribute to the misattribution of an action to an external source (Spence et al., 1997).