I watched the last segment of the BBC video clip, and I found what I learned to be very interesting. The question was who is in charge of our decisions? Is it our conscious self? Or our unconscious mass of gray matter that we cannot control? The mathematician Marcus de Sautoy undergoes a quite simple experiment to test this question by randomly deciding and then pushing a left or right button. A scanner will record when you made the decision, and the computer will record when you physically pushed the button itself. What they found was that up to 6 seconds before he made up his mind they could predict which button he was going to decide to pick. We are told there is a pattern of brain activity that emerges before we make a decision, so they could tell whether he was going to click with his left or right hand. What we can conclude from this is that our unconscious self has control of our decisions. This can make us question whether this means our decisions are out of our control or whether we still have control over them. They stated that our unconscious brain activity is in harmony with our wants and beliefs, so we should still decide and do things we want to do. This is where I became confused as to how this is possible, and what would happen if we lost this harmony between the two. When we do things we don't mean to do, those things we wish with all our might we could take back, are they due to the harmony being off between our conscious and unconscious mind? Also, if our minds are made up before we even realize it, how could we make ourselves stop making the wrong decisions and start making the right ones? These were some questions that I resulted with after watching the video clip, but overall I found what I learned to be very fascinating like many others did.
What makes our decisions?
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