Neuroscience and Free Will Are Rethinking Their Divorce

By

 

brainpic

Computer artwork of a brain-shaped network of lines and connections. Photo: Alfred Pasieka/Science Photo Library/Corbis

Back in the 1980s, the American scientist Benjamin Libet made a surprising discovery that appeared to rock the foundations of what it means to be human. He recorded people’s brain waves as they made spontaneous finger movements while looking at a clock, with the participants telling researchers the time at which they decided to waggle their fingers. Libet’s revolutionary finding was that the timing of these conscious decisions was consistently preceded by several hundred milliseconds of background preparatory brain activity (known technically as “the readiness potential”).  Read Article

Comments are closed