Are we making our own decisions, or is it our neuronal activity doing so?

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After deciding to question whether it's me, with my values, experiences, and personal opinions making decisions for myself or not, I think the studies done on this topic lead to many things we may have never considered. In this particular study, all the participant had to do was press the left or right button on a controller, while the experimenter looked at his brain activity. After the study was conducted the experimenter told the participant that from the brain scans he knew 6 seconds before he actually decided which button to press, that he was going to press that button. I cannot get over this. Making decisions is such a normal thing to do so I never thought there was anything more to it. Some people are so indecisive it's insane yet others are extremely opinionated and make decisions quicker than ever. Is there something that allows us to have the ability to make decisions quickly or not? Going through our lives we've gained a lot of experience and I've always thought the decisions I made were based off of that experience. It's not clear whether or not that's true, but there is something beyond our consciousness that makes our decisions for us before we even know what we're going to decide. Kind of hard to wrap your mind around right? freewill.jpg The name of this photo is "free will." Free will is the ability to make your own decisions. In the video it was said that "science has a problem with free will." So when and how will we figure out if it's the science/neuronal activity making our decisions or ourselves?

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This is such an amazing experiment that really messes with your mind--kind of freaky actually! It makes us reconsider all of our decisions that we've made and maybe for some, provides a scapegoat for bad decisions. This also then leads to the even greater concept and life long debate with free will. If that simple experiment proves that our decision had been made before we acted upon it, does that mean the same goes for large decisions in our lives? Or is this more of a stimuli and response kind of decision and greater decisions are based off our experiences and intuition? Wow, lots to think about! Nice blog!

I love this experiment! I would argue that just because it might be our unconscious making decisions, doesn't mean that it isn't us! I mean, it's all part of who we are, and for me, that means we still have free will...

I also found this study quite amazing and confusing. I have always believed that I was in control of my own decisions, action, and mental processes. This study really shook me when I learned of it. It makes me question if that person in the experiment was choosing at all or if it was just a random neural impulse that caused that decision to be made. And more interestingly if it wasn't free will is it right to prosecute people for crimes? Scary to think about our choices not being our own.

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This page contains a single entry by pete8968 published on February 26, 2012 9:07 PM.

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