The Libet Experiment: Is free will just an illusion?

published 5 years ago by BBC Radio

Are our 'conscious decisions' just reports on what is already happening?

WNED. Put your hand in front of you and flexure wrist. You presumably first had a thought. Flex my wrist. That van because your wrist to move. That's how it seems but Benjamin libete experiments in the 19 eighties have cast some doubt on that. In his neuroscience lab he wired up subject to an E. E. G. machine measuring brain activity via electrodynamics scalps. And then ask them to choose to perform a simple hand movement when they felt like it. He also got them to record the time at which they made a conscious decision to move their hands. Disconcertingly he found evidence of brain activity initiating the movement hundreds of milliseconds before the conscious decision was reported. In other words. His experiments seem to show that the conscious decision. Didn't cause the movement ...

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