Do We Have Free Will?
A subject is asked to press a button at a time of his/her own violition.
Electrodes detect the brain's activity.
Result: There is a clear indication of electrical activity about a full second
ahead of the time that the subject believes that the actual decision was made.
If free will exists, then it must involve some sort of a time
delay of about one second.
Or is free will an illusion, the result of the interpreter's storytelling?
Source: H. H. Kornhuber, "Cerebral Cortex, Cerebellum, and Basal
Ganglia: An Introduction to Their Motor Functions," in The Neurosciences,
Third Study Program, eds. F. O. Schmitt and F. G. Worden (Cambridge, Mass.: Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, 1973), pp. 267-80. Diagram from Penrose, Roger, The
Large, the Small, and the Human Mind.
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Last modified: Friday, March 26, 2004 11:10 AM