Post on “Neuroscience says there is no Free Will? – That is a Misinterpretation!”

Welcome! Forums Questions About Puredhamma Posts Post on “Neuroscience says there is no Free Will? – That is a Misinterpretation!”

  • This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 6 months ago by Lal.
Viewing 2 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #31209
      Lukas
      Participant

      Neuroscience says there is no Free Will? – That is a Misinterpretation!

      The second experiment (with the clock), and how it is explained, makes sense for me. But I’m confused about what is said in the first video (the experiment where the man presses either with the left or right hand), being done with an fMRI scanner, I think.

      Here the scientist says that it can be predicted which button would be pressed 6 seconds in advance of the actual physical button being pressed!

      How can one explain that?

      Certainly, it will not feel to one like that, especially if one tries to be “spontaneous.” Six seconds are quite a long time.

      But the decision being “predictable” 6 seconds prior, would mean the decision must already have happened at that moment at which brain activity is recorded.

      Thus it seems to have occurred before one becomes aware of it too. Because why then would one feel that the decision has been made much closer to the pushing of the button?

      Otherwise, like the test subject says: “another person would be aware of one’s decision before oneself.”

      Of course the mind is much quicker than the brain. So I am not sure how to take this claim of “being able to predict the action 6 seconds before it is taken”.

      As in the other experiment, the mistake is to assume that finger pushing happens SIMULTANEOUS with the mind’s decision. But the mind only gets the brain (the computer) to initiate the complex sequence of events to work the muscles in the arm and hand to move the finger, and that is the lag time.

      But a delay of 6 seconds? We know many instances where physical actions are being taken much quicker (like when driving a car, for example).

      Thank you ?

    • #31218
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Good question.

      Let us go through the sequences of events for the first experiment. The correct explanation, of course, involves the gandhabba (our mental body).

      The mental body is what decides. The physical body moves according to those decisions made by the mind. Specifically, muscle activity of hands controlled by the brain carries our the button press.
      The time sequence is as follows:
      1. The mind (the mind-base is hadaya vatthu located close to the physical heart) decides to press, say with the right hand (T0).
      2. The decision is conveyed to the brain. This happens possibly via electromagnetic waves propagating from the area of the heart to the brain. (T1)
      3. The brain activates the muscles in the right hand and the button is pressed (T2)

      This experiment is not as good as the second experiment, since each individual may also take some time deliberating which hand to use to press the button. I think that is why this time delay in this particular case was 6 seconds, unusually large compared to the delays in the second set of experiments.
      – So, if we take that large uncertainty out, then the steps in 1 through 3 would be similar to those in the second set of experiments. Of course, the second set of experiments involves a different set of a time sequence.

      P.S. A suggestion to improve posting links:

      To provide a link to a post, please follow the following procedure.

      – Open the web page on a new browser window. Copy the title of the post and paste it in the posting where you want to put the link.
      – Now go back and copy the URL of the web page.
      – Come back to the posting, highlight the title, and click the “link” button on the format panel just above the comment area.
      – A new window will open up and paste that copied link to the “URL” slot. Also, select “Open link in a new tab”, and click the “Add Link” button at the bottom.

      This way, one reading the post will be able to open the post in question in a new window, so that he/she can go back and forth between the post and the web page in question.

    • #31950
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I just revised the post in question with an update on recent experiments:

      Neuroscience says there is no Free Will? – That is a Misinterpretation!

      This post is related to the new post published today:
      Mind Is Not in the Brain

Viewing 2 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.