Friday, August 10, 2012

That Libet Study

I've mentioned the study by Benjamin Libet talked about in this article because it suggests there's more going on in our brains than we're conscious of when we make decisions. As it almost always does in neuroscience, followup work suggests things are more complicated than first thought, and that those who have pointed to the Libet study as an indicator free will doesn't exist are going to have to reconsider their view. If you frame the issue, though, simply as our not being fully conscious of how we make decisions - that still holds. 

According to Seth, when the volunteers in Libet's experiment said they felt an urge to act, that urge is an experience, similar to an experience of smell or taste. The new model is "opening the door towards a richer understanding of the neural basis of the conscious experience of volition", he says.

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